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Humboldt Penguin

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About the Humboldt Penguin

Also known as: Peruvian Penguin

The Humboldt Penguin is a medium-sized species of penguin that lives in parts of South America. They nest along the Pacific coast.

Humboldt Penguins feed on small fish and krill which they hunt as they swim effortlessly through the water. They have spines on their tongues which help them hold and control their food.

In 2009 a same-sex pair of Humboldt Penguins raised a chick successfully together after the baby was abandoned by its biological parents. These male Humboldt Penguins, named Z and Vielpunkt, are not the first same-sex penguins to partner in the raising of a chick - a pair of Chinstrap Penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo did the same.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 11 December 2011
Scientific Name Spheniscus humboldti
  • Sphenisciformes
  • Spheniscidae
  • Spheniscus
  • S. humboldti
Birdorable Family Penguins
Conservation Status Vulnerable
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 27 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
22 to 28 inches
128 to 208 ounces
Range South America


From IUCN Red List:
The Humboldt Penguin is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2013 by BirdLife International. This species has undergone extreme population size fluctuations, (close to one order of magnitude) at major colonies in Chile. However, an overall reduction in the number of breeding colonies indicates that there is probably an ongoing, underlying rapid decline in numbers. It consequently qualifies as Vulnerable.

International Names

  • tučňák Humboldtův (Czech)
  • Humboldtpingvin (Danish)
  • Humboldtpinguïn (Dutch)
  • perunpingviini (Finnish)
  • Manchot de Humboldt (French)
  • Humboldtpinguin (German)
  • Pinguino di Humboldt (Italian)
  • フンボルトペンギン (fumborutopengin) (Japanese)
  • Humboldtpingvin (Norwegian)
  • pingwin peruwianski (Polish)
  • Пингвин Гумбольдта (Russian)
  • Pingüino de Humboldt (Spanish)
  • Humboldtpingvin (Swedish)

Related articles

The Birdorable Humboldt Penguin

The Birdorable Humboldt Penguin

This week we added the Humboldt Penguin to Birdorable. Humboldt Penguins live along the Pacific Coast of South America. They feed on small fish and krill which they hunt as they glide ... more