The Fiordland crested penguin can be found along indented bays, also known as fjords, which are all along the coastline of New Zealand, and is the reason behind their name. Fiordland penguins are quite similar to Snares penguins. The total population has been estimated to be fewer than 1,000 breeding pairs. They stick to rainforest, and nest on their own, or in small colonies along the shoreline. The Fiordland penguin is much less tightknit than other species of penguin. The Fiordland penguin’s man predators are dogs, stoats, ferrets and cats, as well as human development as they embark on the penguin’s land and more. The Fiordland penguin will often migrate into the Tasman Sea, while some other penguins do not migrate at all.
The Fiordland penguin is very similar to the Snares Island penguin, as well as the Erect crested penguin. The Fiordland penguin’s distinguishing features include a yellow crest, close to the penguin’s bills, as well as black feathers splayed across its face, over top of the blue feathers which cover it’s face. The top half of the Fiordland penguin is black, while underneath, on its belly, is white.
The Fiordland penguin will nest together, in spread out groups, with rocky crevices for them to nest in, just close enough so that they can still see each other and know that they’re safe. The males go back to where they breed in the summer, leading to two eggs being laid in July. The adult penguins incubate the eggs for a little over a month before the parents take turns on the nest, while the other one goes out to collect food for the family. The egg is kept warm for 30 to 36 days with the male and the female taking turns on the nest in long 5 to 12 day shifts.
Just like when it comes to many other varieties of penguins, the first egg will usually not hatch, and if it does, it usually contains a much smaller chick inside, which will eventually die of starvation due to its weakness. This is kind of a way of making sure that one of the chicks will definitely be healthy.
The stronger chick is looked after by the two older Fiordland penguins, and fed by the female, and then looked after by the male for about a month or so. Following this, the Fiordland penguin parents will hunt for food, and continue feeding their baby together.