Snares Penguin

Scientific name: Eudyptes robustus
Size: 3.3 kg (m), 2.8 kg (f)
Nest type: in colonies in the open or under forest canopy
Favourite food: krill, squid and fish

Similar in many respects to Fiordland Penguin but endemic to the Snares Islands, which are about 100 km south of the nearest Fiordland Penguin breeding sites. With its breeding range confined to the just over 300 ha of the Snares group, it has the most restricted distribution of all penguins.

Identification:
Similar to Fiordland Penguins (see above for differences). Differs from Erect-crested Penguins in having drooping feather plumes on the crest, the yellow facial stripe reaches further up the bill, and they have a more conical bill. The underwing pattern is highly variable and of little use for identification in the field.

Habits:
Breeds under the canopy of Olearia forests, as well as on coastal rock. The forest often dies due to penguin guano, creating clearings. The birds build a cup nest from peat, wood and pebbles and nest in dense colonies. Similar to Fiordland Penguin, both chicks usually hatch, but only the first-hatched chick (from the B-egg) typically survives beyond the first few days.

Distribution: map
Endemic to the Snares Islands south of New Zealand. Little is known about the non-breeding distribution.

Migration and Vagrancy:
Thought to move westwards into the Tasman Sea. Vagrants have been recorded on Macquarie Island and on the Falklands.

Diet:
The few studies that have been undertaken indicate that this species lives mainly on euphausiids, but also takes cephalopods and a few fish.

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