Fiordland penguins look a little like koala bears, if you look at them from far away. Their orange-colored beaks, white stripes and furry bodies are so cute and adorable! Actually, these guys prefer rain forests to ice glaciers, and are quite content to hang out on the beach all day long.
Penguin name: Fiordland crested penguin
Scientific name: Eudyptes pachyrynchus
Size: About 17 inches tall
Location: These guys live along the coast of New Zealand
What Do They Eat? Rather fond of fish, squid and krill
Main enemies: Fur seals and some large fish, like sharks!
photo by Andrew Hardacre
Fiordland penguins live in, believe it or not, caves and rocky overhangs on the coast of New Zealand, a long way from the icy landscape of the Antarctic or Polar caps. The Fiordland penguins are considered “the loners” of penguin species, and stay pretty much to themselves. Unfortunately, their numbers are decreasing because of human impact on the coastline of New Zealand, and because dogs and cats and ferrets find the small, 8-pound penguins easy prey.
Fiordland penguins look a little different than many of their penguin cousins. They have a swatch of yellow feathers that extends almost from the corners of their mouth, like giant, furry eyebrows. Because of their thick, orange beaks, they are often called a “thick-billed” penguin.
Their fathers carefully guard baby Fiordland penguins, while the mother takes the responsibility of feeding the baby. After the first few weeks, both parents take turns feeding the baby until he or she is old enough (about 10 weeks) to find their food on their own.
These guys like to make their nests in rocky ground that is close to the water. Because they are rather shy and timid, many people don’t see these penguins during the daytime. They like to come out at night to play, hunt or fish.