One of the worlds favourite seabirds are penguins. There are 18 species of penguins and over the last couple of years we have taken a close at the Royal Penguins & Macaroni Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, Galapagos Penguin and the African Penguin. Today we are looking at a pair of endangered penguins, the Erect-Crested Penguin & Yellow-Eyed Penguin. We have compiled 5 facts for each as well as an information sheet.
Name: Erect-Crested Penguin - Eudyptes sclateri
Average Weight: 10 pounds
Average Size: 26 inches
Lifespan in the Wild: 15 - 20 years
IUCN Status: Endangered
Population: 150,000 mature individual - Last assessed by IUCN Red List on 21st August 2020.
Habitat: The Erect-Crested Penguin can be found along the coast of Australia, New Zealand as well as the nearby islands in the Southern Ocean. Their breeding population is exclusive on the Antipodes Islands and Bounty Islands.
| Photo Credits to @richardsidey on Instagram
5 Facts About Erect-crested Penguins
Their populations have been in decline since the 1970s, although scientists have not been able to pinpoint with certainty what the cause of their decline is. But they do face threats from global warming, commercial fishing bycatch, invasive predators, oil spills and disease.
Erect-crested Penguins get their name from the stiff yellow feathers above their eyes.
When courting a mate these birds have been observed swinging their head up and down whilst making a trumpeting-like sound. They breed in October and will lay 2 eggs, with the smaller egg usually being left whilst the larger egg is incubated for at least 35 days.
They have spikes on their tongues and at the back of their mouth which help to hold their prey and swallow them all in one go! They typically eat fish, krill and squid.
Males have been seen fighting with their bills and flippers at nesting sites in competition for mates and nesting spots.
Name: Yellow-Eyed Penguin - Megadyptes antipodes
Average Weight: 11 - 13 pounds
Average Size: 24 inches
Lifespan in the Wild: 20 years
IUCN Status: Endangered
Population: 2,600 - 3,000 mature individual - Last assessed by IUCN Red List on 21st August 2020.
Habitat: These penguins can only be found in a handful of places, on the southeastern coast of South Island in New Zealand, Stewart Island, the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island.
| Photo credits to @edouardgeelhand on Instagram
5 Facts About Yellow-eyed Penguins
The yellow-eyed penguin is now the only member of the genus Megadypte, there use to be a second member of this genus, the Megadyptes waitaha, another species of penguin to live in New Zealand however it went extinct hundreds of years ago and tragically the yellow-eyed penguin appears to be on the same track.
Juvenile yellow-eyed penguins will moult in February and it will take around 2/ 3 weeks for them to fully shed their feather. During this time they are unable to go in the water because their plumage is not well insulated and it is not waterproof. This is when they are at their most vulnerable.
These penguins have one of the longest breeding seasons, from August to March. Their nests are made from solid structures such as rocks and trees and unlike other penguin species they do not breed in colonies. Most breeding pairs are monogamous.
You can actually find the yellow-eyed penguin on the New Zealand $5 bill.
The biggest risks to the yellow-eyed penguins is entanglement in fishing gear, diseases such as avian malaria and blood parasites as well as invasive mammal species.
Half Price Penguin Jewelry & Accessories
We have some wonderful penguin inspired jewelry and accessories available and this weekend you can get 50% off all of them!
10% of gross profits go to amazing marine conservation charities, this month we are supporting BirdLife International, so your purchase will support seabirds such as penguins! PLUS every purchase saves a sea turtle!
1] Center For Biological Diversity - Erect-Crested Penguin
2] IUCN Red List - Erect-crested Penguin, 21st August 2020
3] Britannica - Erect-crested penguin, John P. Rafferty
4] SoftSchool.com - Erect-crested Penguin Facts
5] IUCN Red List - Yellow-eyed Penguin, 21st August 2020
6] Britannica - Yellow-eyed Penguin, John P. Rafferty
7] OceanWide Expedition - Yellow-eyed Penguin
8] New Zealand Birds Online - Waitaha penguin, Michaux, B. 2013 [updated 2019]
9] Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust - Moulting