2 Types of Penguins in the Auckland Islands! (2024)

What are the different kinds of penguins in the Auckland Islands?

types of penguins in the Auckland islands

It’s easy to see why people are fascinated with penguins. Besides their adorable looks, these birds are unlike any other in the world!

They’re flightless birds that love to swim, they stand upright instead of hunched over, and almost all of them live in the southern hemisphere.

Keep reading to learn about EVERY type of penguin that lives on the planet, including photos and range maps!

THE 2 PENGUIN species in the Auckland Islands:


#1. Yellow-eyed Penguin

  • Megadyptes antipodes

types of penguins in the Auckland islands

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 62–79 cm (24–31 in) tall and weigh 3–8.5 kg (6.6–18.7 lb).
  • A band of pale yellow feathers covers the eyes and encircles the back of its head. The forehead and sides of the head are light brown, while the tail and back are navy blue or black. The abdomen, chest, thighs, and underside of the flippers are white.
  • As its name suggests, this penguin’s eyes are yellow.

This species is the rarest penguin in the Auckland Islands!

The estimated worldwide population of Yellow-eyed Penguins is only about 4,000 birds. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to bacterial infections that kill hatchlings and chicks. As a result of these infections, small range, and other threats, Yellow-eyed Penguins are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Yellow-eyed Penguins are found in coastal New Zealand and on Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Unlike other species, Yellow-eyed Penguins are very private and prefer to nest in seclusion. They are almost always silent, only making a shrill call to warn others away from their breeding sites.


#2. Southern Rockhopper Penguin

  • Eudyptes chrysocome

types of penguins in the Auckland islands

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 45–58 cm (18–23 in) tall and weigh 2–3.4 kg (4.4–7.5 lb).
  • Look for their straight, bright yellow eyebrows finishing in yellow plumes over a red eye.
  • The upper part of its body is solid gray, and the belly is white.

Southern Rockhoppers are the showiest penguins in the Auckland Islands.

Just look at that yellow eyebrow and crown of feathers on its head. This species is ready for a party! 🙂

And its looks aren’t the only thing that sets the Southern Rockhopper apart. Many penguins avoid obstacles by sliding on their bellies or climbing using their flippers. However, this species jumps across cracks and boulders instead.

There are two subspecies of Southern Rockhopper Penguin. The western subspecies lives on the southern coast of South America, and the eastern subspecies lives on the southern coast of Australia.

These adaptable penguins also have complex hunting behaviors. They can travel in groups up to 57 km (35 mi) away from their colonies. They hunt for between 12 and 15 hours at a time, leaving the colony around dawn and returning at dusk.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Rockhopper Penguins are highly recognizable because of their looks. In addition, their breeding grounds are also popular tourist destinations!

Unfortunately, Rockhopper Penguins are also considered vulnerable to extinction because of their recent population decline. The threats against these penguins include competition from commercial fisheries and oil spills. However, several zoo breeding programs are leading efforts to help the species thrive.

  • Estimated Global Population: 1 million breeding pairs

Do you want to know more about penguins in the Auckland Islands?


Which type of penguin in the Auckland Islands is your favorite?

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