Penguins 101: New Zealand Erect-Crested Penguin 10 Fun Facts for Kids #penguin – Animal Facts
Erect-crested penguins(Eudyptes sclateri) are perhaps some of the most mysterious of all penguin species. It’s one of the largest of the crested penguins and shares with the Fiordland and Snares penguins the distinctive feature of an upward-sweeping crest of long, yellow brush-like feathers above each eye, extending from the base of the bill to the top of the head. Unlike other crested penguins, however, the erect-crested penguin is able to raise and lower these stiff crest feathers. G’day and welcome to Animal Facts. Today, we discuss the Thunder from Downunder.. no… ok… Let’s discuss the elusive subantarctic seafowl, the Erect-crested penguin.
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10. Erect-Crested Penguins are members of the crested penguin group of the genus Eudyptes which also includes the Royal Penguin, the Macaroni Penguin, Snares Penguin, Fiordland Penguin, and the Rockhopper Penguin. All are black and white penguins with yellow crests, red bills, and eyes, and are found on Subantarctic islands in the world’s southern oceans. All lay two eggs, but raise only one young per breeding season; the first egg laid is substantially smaller than the second.
9. As they live in very isolated parts of the world, this penguin breed stays pretty much to itself, and are not as visible as other penguin species. They live on exposed rocks on the Bounty Islands as well as the beaches and cliffs of the Antipodes Island group. They are one of the least studied penguin species in the world.
8. Erect-crested Penguins breed on rocky slopes bordering the shore. A few pairs build nests but most lay their eggs onto the bare rock. After a long courtship period two eggs are laid but the first, much smaller, A-egg is invariably lost, in most cases on the same day or before the B-egg has been laid.
7. Erect-crested Penguins do not come to land after their post-breeding molt and their winter distribution at sea is unknown. Some birds molt regularly on other sub-Antarctic Islands south of New Zealand and, less commonly, on the South Island of New Zealand. Vagrants have been recorded from Northland (North Island of New Zealand), Tasmania, southern Australia, Heard Island and the Falkland Islands.
6. Diet has never been studied in this species, but judging from its long foraging trips, like other crested penguins they probably live mainly on pelagic crustaceans and fish. The erect-crested penguins, however, are known to travel hundreds of miles to find food.
5. When chicks are born, brown plumage covers their head and the back part of their body, while cream, yellow or white feathers cover them from the neck to the legs. They do not have the erect feathers of the crest that adults have, until after the molting.
4. Males are very devoted to courtship. They build the nest to impress their partner. If their efforts are recognized and appreciated by the female, she will agree to mate. Females lay the first egg in early October, which is smaller than the second, laid five days later. Eggs are pale blue or light green and soon turn into a soft brown color.
The first egg is lost 98% of the time while the latter develops successfully. Two days after the hatching, the mother leaves the male in charge of the offspring for three or four weeks, but she returns daily to regurgitate food for them.
3. Their population is diminishing, and the cause is still uncertain, but among the hypotheses are the temperature change of oceans waters, lower availability of food and marine pollution. The New Zealand government has forbidden human activities in these areas, allowing access only to selected researchers, to reduce these threats.
2. There is a great deal of mystery still that surrounds the behaviors of the Erect-Crested Penguins. What is known is that they are highly social just like all other species of penguins. They live in very large colonies and engage in communicating through vocalization and through touching. Social activity is a big part of feeling safe and offering protection.
1. The current status of the Erect-crested penguins is endangered due to population decline and a small breeding range restricted to two locations. The population of Erect-Crested Penguins is approximately 165,000 pairs.
Well, there ya have it, 10 engrossing facts about the elusive Erect-crested penguins. Did we miss any facts? What’s YOUR favorite animal? Let us know in the comments below. If you made it this far, take a moment to like and subscribe to get more fun facts about the critters we share this Earth with. If you’d like to help us create more list, why not sponsor us on Patreon? And as always, catch ya next time.