Fun Crested Penguin Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 03, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Looking for fun and interesting facts about a crested penguin? Learn about the amazing bird and discover other animals from tiny insects to giant mammals!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

A penguin walk is always fun to watch, isn’t it? Have you ever seen a crested penguin, native to sub-Antarctic waters?

A crested penguin is different from other penguins due to the presence of yellow, stiff, erect feathers above its eyes. That's why they are called crested penguins. A crested penguin belongs to the Eudyptes genus and has around 4-7 species.

Common among them is the erect crested penguin from class, order, family, genus; Aves, Sphenisciformes, Spheniscidae, and Eudyptes respectively. An erect crested penguin is a small to medium penguin that is mostly seen in the regions of New Zealand and belongs to the family Spheniscidae and genus-species Eudyptes.

These animals are very social and always prefer to live in large colonies.

Crested penguins travel long distances. There are many characteristics of these animals that will make you keener about them.

Here are some of the most interesting facts and references about the erect crested penguin from the family Spheniscidae and genus-species Eudyptes for your perusal. For more relatable content, check out these rockhopper penguin facts and Galapagos penguin facts for kids.

Crested Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crested penguin?

Erect crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) is a penguin that belongs to the Eudyptes genus. They are mostly seen in the regions of New Zealand. Crested penguins are highly social animals who love to live in large groups.

They are called crested due to the presence of yellow, stiff, and erect feathers above the eyes of the penguin. They like to travel long distances. Crested penguins are diurnal birds from class, order, family, genus: Aves, Sphenisciformes, Spheniscidae, and Eudyptes respectively.

What class of animal does a crested penguin belong to?

An erect-crested penguin is a bird that belongs to the Aves class and genus Eudyptes. Crested penguins come under the Sphenisciformes order of the Spheniscidae family. There are about four to seven species in this genus. Snares penguin (Eudyptes robustus) is one of the species of the Eudyptes genus.

How many crested penguins are there in the world?

Crested penguins belong to the genus Eudyptes and the scientific name is Eudyptes sclateri. The population of erect-crested penguins is decreasing at a rapid rate around New Zealand (Bounty Islands and Antipodes Islands).

The number of erect-crested penguins on Antipodes Island is around 40,000 breeding pairs whereas it is 26,000 pairs on Bounty Island. The global estimate of the total number of erect-crested penguins (from the kingdom, phylum: Animalia, Chordata respectively) is around 1,50,000 breeding pairs.

Where does a crested penguin live?

Erect-crested penguins (from the kingdom, phylum: Animalia, Chordata respectively) prefer to live on rocky coasts, beaches, and other marine areas as part of colonies. Crested penguin colonies are mostly found in the areas of New Zealand.

The breeding occurs in Bounty Island and Antipodes Island. These breeding birds have also been spotted in the Otago Peninsula. A small population is found in the Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands.

What is a crested penguin's habitat?

An erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) prefers to live on rocky coasts. These breeding birds prefer cold and temperate climates. They build nests in areas where there is scarce vegetation. They are also seen in cliffs, beaches, and other marine areas. These breeding birds are seen near the sea during the winter season.

Who do crested penguins live with?

A crested penguin is a social animal and always loves to live in large colonies. Their group is called huddle or colony. Crested penguins breed on sub-Antarctic islands in the southern oceans. Females lay two eggs during the breeding season. The pairs stay together for life and breed during October.

How long does a crested penguin live?

A crested penguin has an average lifespan of 15 - 20 years. The lifespan may vary depending on its surroundings.

How do they reproduce?

An erect-crested penguin is a monogamous bird where the pairs stay together for life. Crested penguins breed during September. A female erect-crested penguin will lay two eggs in the month of October, which is the prime breeding season.

When the egg-laying takes place, females do not usually eat. The incubation period of a penguin is about 35 days during the breeding season and both the male and female incubate. Mother feeds the young chicks whereas the male erect-crested penguins guard the nest.

By January or February, the young ones are able to go out to the sea. Young become sexually mature at four years. The reproduction season of erect-crested penguins is always in October.

What is their conservation status?

This yellow-crested penguin breed is listed as Endangered species by the IUCN Red List. Their population number is declining at an alarming rate. Hence this species faces an extinction threat. The decrease in breeding and the disturbance of habitat are some of the reasons for the declining population.

Crested Penguin Fun Facts

What do crested penguins look like?

An erect-crested penguin is a small bird that belongs to the Eudyptes genus. This species is different from the other penguins. These penguins have yellow, stiff, and erect feathers above their eyes.

A male erect-crested penguin is larger than the female. The head, cheeks, and throat are dark black in color. The underparts are white in color whereas the upperparts and the tail are blue-black in color.

The erect-crested penguin’s dorsal side of the flipper is blue-black whereas the ventral side is white with the black patch. The chicks have white underparts and upper parts in gray-brown color. The bill of male penguins is larger than the bill of female penguins.

Crested penguins have a sharply delineated black and white plumage with red beaks.

How cute are they?

A crested penguin is cute and innocent in appearance. The way this species walks and runs is too adorable to watch.

How do they communicate?

An erect-crested penguin is a very social animal and these breeding birds communicate with each other using sounds as well as displays. Bowing, mutual preening, swinging side to side are some of the displays used by them.

How big is a crested penguin?

The erect-crested penguin has a length of 19.6-26.8 in (50-68 cm) and is a small-sized bird. It is much smaller compared to other large birds like eagles.

How fast can a crested penguin fly?

An erect-crested penguin is a flightless bird and cannot fly. These breeding birds swim at a speed range of around 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does a crested penguin weigh?

An adult erect-crested penguin has an average weight of 5.5-8.8 lb (2.5-4 kg). It may vary depending on their habitat and diet.

What are the male and female names of the species?

As a crested penguin is a bird, its species is E. sclateri.  A male crested penguin is called a 'cock' and the female crested penguin is called a 'hen'.

What would you call a baby crested penguin?

Young crested penguins are called a chicks or a hatchlings. For the first two or three weeks of life, the chick is cared for by its father. The chick then remains with its mother, often within a simple nest of rocks and mud.

What do they eat?

Crested penguins are carnivores (piscivores) in terms of their diet. These breeding birds prey on krill, squids, small fishes, crustaceans, and cephalopods.

Are they dangerous?

An erect-crested penguin is not dangerous and does not pose any threats to others. Rather they are very docile animals who face threats from a variety of predators who prey on them in their natural habitat.

Would they make a good pet?

An erect-crested penguin is not meant for keeping as a pet. These breeding birds prefer coastal and cold habitats. It is difficult to provide them with sufficient living conditions. Hence these birds with a crest are not suitable for keeping as pets. 

It is illegal to keep any type of penguin as a pet.

Did you know...

An erect-crested penguin is an excellent climber. These breeding birds can quickly climb steep rocky cliffs very easily in order to reach their breeding sites.

Are erect-crested penguins endangered?

Yes, erect-crested penguins are endangered. The population of these birds with a  crest is decreasing very rapidly. The changes in oceanographic productivity, less breeding success, oil spills, pollution, and global warming affect their habitat and cause the decline.

How many types of penguins are there?

Penguin family consists of 18 species. A macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) is the most common species. Other types include king penguin, emperor penguin, chinstrap penguin, Galapagos penguin, snares penguin (Eudyptes robustus), and Fiordland penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our little penguin fun facts and barn owl facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fiordland crested penguin coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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