Snares Islands Penguin (Eudyptes robustus)

Taxonomy

Monotypic

Also known as Snares Crested Penguin
 

Identification

A typical member of the creasted penguin group. The pale-yellow crest starts at the base of the base of the bill, sweeps over the eye and falres out slightly as it droops down the back of the head. The bill is robust, especially in males. The prominent area of bare skin around the base of the bill helps distinguish Snares Island Penguins from the similar Fiordland Penguin. A few Snares Island Penguin may also have some white cheek feathers and they do not form lines as is the case with Fiordland Penguin. The eye is red, but not not as bright or obvious as Rockhopper Penguin. The sexes are alike, although males are slightly larger than females with a perceptably heavier bill. Fledglings have pale chins and short crests.
 

Where and When

Classified as VULNERABLE. Endemic to the Snares, a small cluster of islands southwest of Stewart Island, New Zealand. A census during the 2000 breeding season estimated the total population at 30,000 breeding pairs.

Nest is dense colonies under stunted forest composed of  'tree daisies' (Olearia lyalli and Brachyglottis stewartiae). Males return to the islands in August to establish territories and are followed shortly thereafter by the females.

Movements at sea poorly known. Juveniles often straggle to the east coast of South Island to moult.

The New Zealand Penguins web site has a lot more information and a fantastic collection of photos.
 

Literature



Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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