13 September, 2009

Yellow-eyed Penguin

Scientific Name: Megadyptes antipodes

Population Estimate: 4,800 individuals, Endangered status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to New Zealand where found on the rocky southeastern coast of the South Island, Stewart Island, and Auckland Island.

Field Notes: Medium-sized penguin, unmistakable in range as above.

Personal Notes: Maori name Hoiho. We were privileged to first see these birds outside of Dunedin. We saw them on the same beach as sea lions, mostly ignoring one another. It was painful to watch them hop up steep hills and rocks to their nests. We later got a local tip on where to see them on the Catlins coast, which required a climb down essentially a cliff, but well worth the effort.

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