Galapagos Penguin

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.

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

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.

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