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Humboldt Penguin

Spheniscus humboldti


Humboldt Penguins are found along the coastal shores of Peru and Chile in South America. About 70 cm in length and weighing on average 4 kg, males are slightly larger than females. They have black feathers on the back and a white front with a black band across the chest. Featherless pink patches on the face, feet and the underside of their wings helps keep the birds cool in hot weather. The eyes are red/brown. Although ungainly on land, their streamlined bodies and flippers (modified wings) enable them to move and manoeuvre efficiently through the water. They can reach up to 60km/hr. Their webbed feet act as a rudder in the sea. Humboldt Penguins feed close to shore hunting small fish, squid, shrimp and krill. Breeding can occur at any time of the year with peak periods between April-May and September and October. The birds form colonies preferring to nest on elevated sites covered in dried sea bird guano into which they burrow, but will also use caves or scrape nests on the ground.


Humboldt Penguins nest on islands and rocky coasts, burrowing holes in guano and sometimes using scrapes or caves. In South America the Humboldt Penguin is found only along the Pacific coast,[4] and the range of the Humboldt Penguin overlaps that of the Magellanic Penguin on the central Chilean coast. Exist its presence in Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina.[5]


Commercial fishing competes for the same small fish species the penguins eat. The birds are also hunted and caught in fishing nets. • The guano on which they depend for nesting is mined for plant fertiliser. With nothing to burrow into, many birds abandon the nesting site. Those that do lay eggs are heavily predated upon by gulls, foxes, cats and dogs. • The sea in which they feed is susceptible to changing currents from cool nutrient rich waters to warm currents. These temperature changes affect the movement and numbers of fish which in turn affect feeding penguins. When sea currents are warm the penguins must forage far out to sea in order to get enough fish. Average lifespan in the wild is 15-20 years

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Atul 11 years ago

beautifully captured!

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Lovely spotting, Vijay. Welcome to the community! I've moved this spotting to birds :-) look forward to seeing more wildlife from your area.

Spotted by

United Arab Emirates

Spotted on Jul 13, 2012
Submitted on Jul 14, 2012

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