Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)

Order: Sphenisciformes | Family: Spheniscidae  | IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Isla Foca, Piura

Age: Adult and Juvenile | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Pucusana, Lima

Age: Adult and Chick | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Paracas, Ica

Age: Molting Adults  | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Isla Foca, Piura

Identification & Behavior: ~63 cm (24.8 in). The Humboldt Penguin is the only resident penguin in Peru. It has a black head and back. The head has a white stripe that runs from above the eye, around the ear-coverts joining at the throat. It also has a prominent black breast band on the white underparts. Juvenile birds have brown instead of black and have no breast band. The Humboldt Penguin is distinguished from the similar Magellanic Penguin by having only one black breast band.

Status: The Humboldt Penguin is rare to uncommon. Its populations experience increases and declines in response to El Niño events. Overall, penguin populations have declined compared to historic numbers. It breeds in coastal islands and rocky shores with suitable nesting micro-habitats. It also occurs in Ch.

Name in Spanish: Pingüino de Humboldt.

Sub-species: Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) Meyen, 1834.

Meaning of Name: Spheniscus:  Gr. Sphen= Wedge-shaped, refers to the shape of Penguin’s body. humboldti: After Alexander Von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorer.

See: Penguin Molting

See more of the Family Spheniscidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
Humboldt Penguin - Spheniscus humboldtiVoice
Generally silent at sea.


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo), The Field Museum. on 7/09/2014.