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Galapagos Penguin - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by lmg
Isabela Island, Galapagos, May 2006
Spheniscus mendiculus


Blackish-grey above and white below but in worn plumage looks brown. White band extends from bill over eye to meet under dark throat patch and breast has two indistinct bands.
Bill blackish with pink base to lower mandible, feet black.
The only penguin in range.


Photo © by mikemik
Galapagos, Ecuador, November 2008

Confined to the Galapagos Islands where breeds only on Fernandina and the west coast of Isabela but can also be seen on eastern Isabela, James, Bartolome, north Santa Cruz and Floreana.

Vagrant recorded on Pacific coast of Panama.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Breeds year-round in small colonies in rocky crevices on islands and most active at night. Otherwise at sea around the Galapagos Islands.


Classified as Endangered in the 2008 IUCN Red List, due to its small population and rapid population decline due to changes in its marine environment, and because almost all breeding occurs at a single site (BirdLife International, 2008).



Colonial breeder in small loose colonies, nesting in holes under lava. Eggs: two, whitish, laid throughout the year.


Their diet consists mostly of small fish.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BirdLife International

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