The Fiordland Penguin is a member of the crested group of penguins. In New Zealand, these birds are commonly referred to by their Maori name, tawaki.
Common Name: Fiordland Penguin; Tawaki
Scientific name: Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Population: 1,500-5,000 breeding pairs
Weight and height: 3.0 kg – 4.5 kg and 55 cm
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Conservation status: Near-Threatened
Population Trend: Decreasing
Geographic Breeding Range: New Zealand
Prey/diet: Cephalopods, crusteceans, fish
Photo Source: Francesco Veronesi from Italy [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Distinguishing physical characteristics: Wide yellow crests on the head narrow to a fine point near the bill. Thin white stripes can sometimes be seen on the cheeks. The bill is heavy and orange-brown in color. Feet and legs are pinkish, eyes are brownish red.
Interesting tidbit about Fiordland Penguins: They have an open ocean habitat. They will spend up to 75% of their lives in the ocean during the winter. As a result barnacles often attach themselves to the penguin’s tail.
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