Sperm competition theory suggests that males should strategically allocate sperm to those females that will bring them the best possible genetic returns. Although males of a number of species of insects and fishes have been shown to allocate sperm strategically, we provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that an avian species is also capable of allocating ejaculates. Male Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) are more likely to transfer sperm during extra–pair copulations (EPCs) than during pair copulations. We investigated the question of how males allocate ejaculates within the constraints of limited sperm availability and found (i) that males that engaged in EPC attempts ejaculated less often when copulating with their social partner than males that made no EPC attempts, and (ii) that there was no difference between males that were involved in failed EPC attempts and those that were involved in successful EPCs in the proportion of copulations that resulted in sperm transfer. These results indicate that males achieve strategic allocation of sperm within the constraints of limited sperm availability by withholding ejaculates from their social partners.