Did You Know?
The Yellow-eyed penguin is the most reclusive of all penguin species preferring to live and breed in coastal forests under dense vegetation rather then in large colonies on open terrain. These penguins seek out sheltered nests completely isolated from their neighbors. In fact if two pairs are within line of sight of each other both will experience an unsuccessful breeding season.

 Yellow-Eyed Penguin
Megadyptes antipodes

Standing Height:
21 InchesWeight:11.5-13 PoundsPlumage:

Slate grey body with forehead and crown of pale gold with black stripes. Its appearance is similar to the crested penguins, but it has no crest.Eyes:




Common: Yellow-crowned penguin.
Scientific: Megadyptes antipodes, meaning “big diver from the southern lands”. Maori: tavora or hoiho meaning “noise shouter”.

Southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island, including Stewart, Campbell and Auckland Islands.

Small fish, which vary annually but include Opalfish, Red Cod, silversides, sprat and Arrow Squid.

Birds are present in the breeding grounds throughout the year. The species is solitary; nests are built in dense vegetation, out of view of other birds. Both sexes build the nest.

Two eggs are laid in the tussock lined nests, mid-September to mid-October. Shared incubation lasts for 39-51 days. Incubation begins after the clutch is complete, and sometimes doesn’t begin until 10 days after completion of the clutch. Sixty percent of pairs rear two chicks to fledging. Females mature earlier than males, between 2 and 3 years, and usually end up breeding with an older male.

Natural: Barracuda and sea lions.
Introduced: Ferrets, stoats, and dogs.

Conservation Challenges and Solutions:
Loss of coastal forest has played a part in the decline of this species. Predation by introduced species is the biggest factor effecting population decline

Population/IUCN- The World Conservation Union designation:
Endangered population estimated at 4000-5000 birds.
Population has decreased by 40% over the last 40 years.

North American Zoos & Aquariums: