Galapagos Penguin

Scientific name: Spheniscus mendiculus

Size: 2.1 kg (m), 1.7 kg (f)
Nest type: burrow or crevices in lava
Favourite food: small fish

The northernmost of all penguins, Galapagos Penguins breed right on the equator. Populations fluctuate heavily under the influence of El Niño to a degree that the future survival of the species is endangered.

Identification:
They are the smallest of the Spheniscus penguins. Distinguished by their relatively large bill and narrow white line around the face.

Habits:
They breed mainly in caves or crevices of old lava flows and in burrows.

Distribution: map
Endemic to the Galapagos Islands where it breeds on Isabela, Fernandina and possibly Bartholomew. Distribution seems to be correlated with the Cromwell Current, which provides cold nutrient-rich surface water.

Migration and Vagrancy:
Galapagos Penguins remain close to their breeding islands throughout the year. A record from the Pacific coast of Panama might well have been ship-assisted.

Diet:
The main prey items taken by Galapagos Penguin are small fish like mullet and sardines.

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