Year of 2018

Yellow-eyed penguins, Moeraki, New Zealand

The hills are alive with the sound of penguins here on Katiki Point, part of the Moeraki Peninsula on New Zealand’s South Island. This is a significant habitat for endangered yellow-eyed penguins, which are some of the rarest penguins in the world. They are a solitary, vocal bird known as hoiho, or ‘noise-shouter,’ in the Māori language. This winter the birds had a lot to talk about, as scientists discovered evidence of a prehistoric penguin in New Zealand that was human-sized. These prehistoric relatives were given the name Kumimanu biceae--kumimanu means ‘monster bird’ in the Māori tongue.

The yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand. Previously thought closely related to the little penguin, molecular research has shown it more closely related to penguins of the genus Eudyptes. Like most other penguins, it is mainly piscivorous.
Scientific name: Megadyptes antipodes
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Megadyptes
Yellow-eyed Penguin distribution map
Red: The distribution of the Yellow-eyed Penguin, Megadyptes antipodes, endemic to New Zealand. North to South: Banks Peninsula, Otago Coast, Stewart Island, Auckland Islands, Campbell Islands.