Yellow-eyed Penguin
(Megadyptes antipodes)

"Large Diver"


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Yellow-eyed Photo Gallery

Yellow-eyed Photo Gallery 1


There is only one sub-species of the Megadyptes penguin. Their unique characteristic from other penguin species is apparent from their name and from the middle picture above. They have distinctive golden feathers which form from a crown on their heads as well as their yellow eyes. They are approximately the same size as the largest crested penguin measuring 30 inches and the fourth largest of all penguins. They are heavier with a weight range between 16 and 19.6 pounds. Breeding sites are confined to the South Island of New Zealand (Otago Peninsula), Stewart, Campbell and Auckland Islands each having from 350 to 700 pairs. The population has declined by 75% between 1950 and 1990. The present population is approximately 1500 pairs and they are vulnerable. Their biggest threat are introduced mammalian predators. They feed on fish and squid, and dive while foraging to depths of 400 feet with the dives lasting between 2 and 4 minutes. Their colonies are small with approximately 3 to 5 nests per site. They are the least social of all penguins, being solitary breeders. Two eggs are laid with a success rate of 61% for two chicks, 15% one chick and 24% no chicks. The success rate varies from island to island. Age at breeding for females is at 2 to 3 years and most females (71%) prefer an older partner. They can live for up to 24 years.