Yellow-eyed Penguin
Common Name Hoiho
Range South Island of New Zealand, as well as Stewart, Auckland, and Campbell Islands.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Sphenisciformes
Family Spheniscidae
Genus Megadyptes
Species M. antipodes
Conservation Status

The Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) or Hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand. Previously thought closely related to the Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor), molecular research has shown it more closely related to penguins of the genus Eudyptes. Like most other penguins, it is mainly piscivorous. The species breeds around the South Island of New Zealand, as well as Stewart, Auckland, and Campbell Islands. Colonies on the Otago Peninsula are a popular tourist venue, where visitors may closely observe penguins from hides, trenches, or tunnels.


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The Yellow-eyed Penguin generally forages 7–13 km (4–8 miles) offshore, and travelling on average around 17 km (11 mi) away from the nesting site. Birds leave the colony at dawn and return the same evening during chick rearing, although may spend 2–3 days at sea at other times. Average depth dived is 34 m (112 ft).


The Yellow-eyed Penguin pursues prey in 20–60 m (66–196 ft) deep dives.[7] Around 90% of the Yellow-eyed Penguin's diet is made up of fish; with cephalopods such as the arrow squid (Nototodarus sloanii) making up the remainder. Fish species consumed include the blue cod (Parapercis colias), red cod (Pseudophycis bachus), opalfish (Hemerocoetes monopterygius), and new zealand blueback sprat (Sprattus antipodum), all between 2 and 32 cm (1–13 in) long. Cephalopods make up almost half (49%) of the diet of immature birds.


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