Humboldt Penguin

Humboldt Penguin Spheniscus humboldti

Type of Animal:

Temperate/subtropical/tropical areas: islands, rocky coasts, rocky shorelines, rocky seaside cliffs, rocky areas, sandy beaches, open ocean, dry/arid coastal desert, coastal waters, intertidal zones, water ranges from 32-70 degrees F

Peruvian & Chilean coast

Black head w/ white border running from behind eye, around black ear-coverts/chin, joining at throat, blackish-grey upper body, whitish underbelly, black breast-band extends down flanks to thigh, fleshy pink base to bill, juveniles have dark heads & no breast-band

Fish, squid, crabs, krill, shrimp

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, marine parks, & wildlife parks

Colonies of 55-100 monogamous pairs

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Colony
Male: 11 lbs
Female: 9 lbs
Young: 5 lbs

5 weeks 

Life Span:
15-20 years

Male: 2.3 ft
Female: 2.08 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.3 ft
Female: 2.08 ft

Main predators of adults are pinnipeds, orcas/killer whales, sharks, dogs, cats, foxes, & caracaras. Gulls/other seabirds, vultures, snakes, & rodents eat chicks.
At very S edge of range, sometimes seen w/ closely related Magellanic Penguins.
Named after German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt & highly influenced by Humboldt Current flowing northward from Antarctica.
Have several different calls-Yell (warning call), Throb (soft call between nesting pairs), Haw (short call given by juveniles alone in water & by paired birds when 1 on land & other in water), Bray (long call for attracting mates/advertising nesting territory), Courtship Bray (similar to bray & synchronously done by mates), & Peep (chicks begging for food).
When molting, they’re confined to land.
Both parents care for chicks, w/ 1 staying on nest while other forages.
Guano (dried poop) layers & cliff tops important nesting sites for these birds. Also nest in caverns, hollows, beaches, & scrapes covered by vegetation.
Threatened due to guano mining for fertilizer, climate change, El Nino southern oscillation events reducing upwelling of cold, nutrient-laden waters reducing prey/productivity, overfishing, pollution, oil spills, human activity, goats/rabbits grazing on vegetation used for nestbuilding/causing dirt burrow collapse, introduced predators, coal-fired power plants, mining, & accidental bycatch.

Fun Fact(s):
Can swim 20-30 mph & dive as deep as 492 ft.
1 bird escaped from Tokyo Sea Life Park in 2012 & thrived in Tokyo Bay for 82 days after scaling 13 ft high wall & getting through barbed-wire fence into bay. Recaptured in late May that year.
Homosexual pair-bonding has been observed in captivity-2 males at Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany adopted a chick in 2009. This behavior also seen in 2014 at Wingham Wildlife Park in England w/ a male pair adopting chick abandoned by parents.

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