Humboldt Penguin - Five Sisters Zoo

Medium sized black and white penguins from the Pacific coast of South America. Individuals weigh between 3.6 and 5.8 kilograms and can get to around 65cm in height. Adults have large pink fleshy patches across their faces.

  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Weight: 3.6 to 5.8 kilograms
  • Height: 65 cm
  • Habitat: cliffs and shores of the cost of Chile and Peru
  • Life span: 15 to 20 under human care

Adapted to Survive


  • Waterproof! Individuals have 30 to 40 feathers per square centimetre, about three times the feather density of a flying bird, forming a protective layer from cold air and icy water
  •  Individuals have sharp claws on their webbed feet to grip onto rocks as they move across the cliffs
  • To help them stay cool during the warmest months, they lose heat through the featherless skin (pink patches) around their eyes and their throat
  • They are great divers! Individuals typically make short dives, within 30 metres of the surface, to look for food, but the maximum dive depth recorded is 53 metres
  • Their colours help them camouflage! Their white chest  blends with the sunlit surface of the water, making it hard for predators to spot them from below.


  • Intensive fishing – Individuals depend on food availability close to their nesting places
  • Destruction of breeding places- Individuals prefer to build their nests in burrows made of guano (accumulated faeces of birds and bats). Guano is intensively harvested as fertiliser
  • Introduced species like rats and dogs in their nesting sites

IUCN Conservation Status