The name penguin probably derived from the Latin word 'pinguis' or the Spanish 'pinguigo', which refers to the large quantity of fat on the birds.
Height: 60cm (23.5in), Weight: 3.5-4kg (7.7-8.8lb).
Fiordland penguins have a white front, a black head, chin and back, with an orange/yellow stripe over the eye that forms a silky plume behind the head and droops down the neck. They have white streaks of feathers on their cheeks.
They breed in New Zealand on the rugged south-western coast of South Island and Steward Island.
Fiordland penguins eat a diet of fish, as well as krill and other crustaceans. They are predated by introduced dogs and cats, stoats, ferrets and native fur seals.
They use visual and vocal displays on land and barking calls for contact when at sea. There is lots of social interaction during the breeding season. They nest in loose communities under bushes and among tree roots or in caves. When defending their nest site, the pale cheek stripes below the eye are puffed out.
Male Fiordland penguins return to the nesting site in June. Breeding takes place from July to November when two eggs are laid that hatch in sequence. The eggs are incubated for 30-36 days by both parents in 5-10 day shifts. Once hatched the chicks stay in the nest for 2-3 weeks guarded by the male and fed by the female. The second chick usually dies as it is out-competed by the larger first chick. At 10 weeks the chick is ready to go to sea and returns to breed at the age of 5 years.
Fiordland penguins are listed as Vulnerable by the 2000 IUCN Red List. They are threatened due to a decline in prey species, fishing, human disturbance and predation. There over 5,000 but not more than 10,000 nesting pairs in the world population.