About the yellow-eyed penguin / hoiho

Yellow-eyed penguins / hoiho are one of the rarest penguins in the world and are only found in New Zealand (endemic).

The scientific name of the yellow-eyed penguin is Megadyptes antipodes which means big diver from the southern lands (mega = big, dyptes = diver, antipodes = southern lands).

Its Māori name, hoiho (meaning noise shouter), was given because of its shrill call. The yellow-eyed penguin is also known as takaraha, and an ancient Māori name was tavora.

That’s not the only thing that makes this a most unusual penguin. Hoiho are not as social as other penguins. Very shy, they prefer to nest often well away and out of sight of their neighbours.

Hoiho are dependent on both marine and terrestrial habitats. The land provides nesting habitat as well as loafing, roosting and moulting space. The sea provides food for hoiho and is essential for dispersal and movement between terrestrial habitats.


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