Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts – Yellow Eyed Penguin Habitat & Diet

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This article clarifies some of the imperative yellow eyed penguin facts. Yellow eyed penguin belongs to the family of Megadyptes antipodes and is endemic to New Zealand. These types of penguins are the close relatives of Little Penguins.

Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts

  • These large penguins are 65 – 79 cm (23 – 31 inches) long.
  • Yellow eyed penguins weigh around 7 – 8 kg (15.5 – 18 lbs), with the minimum weight measuring 5 – 6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs).
  • The females are slightly shorter as compared to males.
  • The lifespan of these birds is about 20 years.

Facts about Yellow Eyed Penguins Diet & Habitat

These birds are primarily found in the coastal shores near water, bays, and wetlands. These species exist all throughout Auckland, South Island, Campbell Island, and Stewart Island. They are affirmed as endangered species. The total population of yellow eyed penguins is no more than 4000 – 6000 in total.(1)

These kinds of penguins hunt 10 – 12 km away from the coastal waters. They are capable to dive 34 m (112 feet) deep into the water. When it comes to the hunting underwater, yellow eyed penguins can go even 20 – 60 m (66 – 196 feet) deep into the water. More than 90% of the yellow eyed penguins diet is composed fish including blue cod, cephalopods, squid, red cod, opalfish, and Blueback Sprat.

yellow eyed penguin facts - yellow eyed penguin
yellow eyed penguin

Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts about its Reproduction

  • These penguins breed all throughout New Zealand. Yellow eyed penguins generally form large colonies during which they build their nests.
  • The breeding period ranges from August to September.
  • Females lay 2 – 3 eggs in this period.
  • The incubation (keeping warm) process lasts for 39 – 51 days.
  • Both parents contribute toward incubation.
  • The lifespan of yellow eyed penguins is 24 years
  • The chicks are properly looked after for at least 6 months.
  • These juveniles weigh around 5 – 6 kg. They begin to breed after 3 years of age.

Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts – Videos


  1. Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, 

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