Humboldt Penguin

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 11 December 2011
Scientific Name
Spheniscus humboldti
  • Sphenisciformes
  • Spheniscidae
  • Spheniscus
  • S. humboldti
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (as of 5 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
22 to 28 inches
128 to 208 ounces


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

Czech (Cesky) tučňák Humboldtův
Danish (Dansk) Humboldtpingvin
Dutch (Nederlands) Humboldtpinguïn
Finnish (Suomi) perunpingviini
French (Français) Manchot de Humboldt
German (Deutsch) Humboldtpinguin
Italian (Italiano) Pinguino di Humboldt
Japanese (日本語) フンボルトペンギン (fumborutopengin)
Norwegian (Norsk) Humboldtpingvin
Polish (Polski) pingwin peruwianski
Russian (русский язык) Пингвин Гумбольдта
Spanish (Español) Pingüino de Humboldt
Swedish (Svenska) Humboldtpingvin
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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