Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Introduction

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) or hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is one of the few penguin species found north of the Antarctic Ocean, and as its name suggests, this species of penguin is easily identified by its yellow colored eyes and bright yellow band that runs from its eyes round the back of the yellow-eyed penguin’s head.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin generally searches for food up 10 miles offshore, and travels (on average) around 15 miles away from the colonies nesting site. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin leaves the colony at dawn and returns the same evening during chick rearing, although may spend 2 to 3 days at sea at other times.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is one of the larger species of penguin with adult individuals reaching 75 cm in height, with the males generally being slightly larger than the female Yellow-Eyed Penguin. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin was thought to have been closely related to the tiny little penguin found in a similar area, although recent research suggests that the two are actually fairly genetically different.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species, survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the Yellow-Eyed Penguins diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish.

Keywords to learn

Genetically: In a way that relates to genes or genetics.

Extinct: Having no living members.

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Yusef the Yellow-Eyed Penguin and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @

Key Yellow-Eyed Penguin Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    10 – 20 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    Megadyptes Antipodes.
  • Mass:
    5kg – 8kg (11lbs – 18lbs)
  • Length:
    60cm – 75cm (24in – 30in)
  • Region found:
    coast of the south island of New Zealand
  • Population Status:
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    2-5 years.

Penguins are very funny looking don’t you think. They are really compact and cute. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is especially funny looking due the bright yellow band around its eyes.

Now that you know more about the Yellow-Eyed Penguin by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.


Download questions about the Yellow-Eyed Penguin here: Yellow Eyed Penguin (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the Yellow-Eyed Penguin. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is usually found nesting in the forests and scrub that line the New Zealand coast and although historically undisturbed, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin now has a number of land-dwelling predators including cats, dogs and foxes along with rats and weasels that hunt their eggs.
  • # 2. On average, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin breeds once a year, forming pairs that usually remain faithful to one another. The female lays two eggs in her nest in the forest which are incubated by both parents for up to a couple of months, when only one of the eggs will usually hatch. Chicks are fed and kept warm by their parents and remain with them until the chicks are nearly a year old.
  • # 3. Today, Yellow-Eyed Penguin listed as an endangered animal with an estimated wild population of less than 4,000 individuals. It is now the rarest penguin in the world due to deforestation and the introduction of mammalian predators.
  • # 4. Yellow-eyed Penguins are the only members of the genus Megadyptes. There had been a second member, the Megadyptes waitaha, but it is extinct.
  • # 5. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin population had a major scare in the spring of 2004 when a bacterial disease killed off 60% of the chicks found on the Otago peninsula of New Zealand.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. What makes up a bulk of the Yellow-Eyed Penguins diet?
  • # 2. What class does the Yellow-Eyed Penguin belong to?
  • # 3. What is the current population trend of the Yellow-Eyed Penguin?
  • # 4. What predators do Yellow-Eyed Penguin eggs have?
  • # 5. What percent of the population of Yellow-Eyed Penguin chicks were killed off by a bacterial disease in 2004?


One Reply to “Yellow-Eyed Penguin”

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