<< Previous Next >>

Yellow Eyed Penguin

Yellow Eyed Penguin
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Endangered, Penguins in the Wild [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-21 23:34
Viewed: 9191
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I saw this penguin and several others) on a trip to the Otage Peninsula with Elm tours. Because of our interest in photography we arranged a private tour with the founder of the company, Brian Elm - it was well worth it as we had exactly as much time as we wanted. He has established a private reserve on the south side of the peninsula where careful efforts have increased the penguin numbers - sucess is slow as the mortality rate of chucks in their first year is around 85%. Mosy penguins enter and return to the sea in groups to distract predators - the Yellow-eyed are solitary - meaning that the sharks, killer whales and sealions lurking offshore can catch them more easily. It is a paradox that the rarest penguin is preyed upon by the rarest sealion (Hookers Sealion).

The Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) or Hoiho is a penguin found in New Zealand, on the south-east coast of South Island, Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island/Rakiura, and Auckland and Campbell Islands (where I have also seen them).

This is a fairly large penguin, averaging 75 cm (30 in) long and weighing about 6.3 kg (14 lbs). It has a pale yellow head and paler yellow eyes with black feather shafts. There is a band of bright yellow running from its eyes around the back of the head. The juvenile has a grayer head with no band and their eyes have a gray iris.

This penguin usually nests in forest or scrub. It feeds mainly on blue cod, red cod, opalfish, sprat and squid.

The current status of this penguin is endangered, with an estimated population of 4,000. It is considered one of the world's rarest penguin species. The main threats include habitat degradation, introduced predators as well as environmental changes. It may be the most ancient of all living penguins.

In spring 2004, a previously undescribed disease killed off 60% of Yellow-eyed penguin chicks on the Otago peninsula and in North Otago. The disease has been linked to an infection of corynebacterium, a family of bacteria that also causes diphtheria in humans. It has recently been described as diphtheritic stomatitis. However, it seems as if this is just a secondary infection. The primary pathogen remains unknown. A similar problem has affected the Stewart Island population.

Several mainland habitats have hides and are relatively easily accessible for those wishing to watch the birds come ashore. These include beaches at Oamaru, Moeraki light-house, a number of beaches near Dunedin, and The Catlins. In addition commercial tourist operations on Otago Peninsula also provide hides to view yellow-eyed penguins.

A reserve protecting more than 10% of the mainland population was established at Long Point in the Catlins in November 2007 by the Department of Conservation and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust

Note - hand held with 300mm 2.8 + 1.4 converter.

pvs, valy67, horia, jusninasirun, rkailas, fartash, rcrick, SelenE, mariki, Bufo, sandpiper2, jcoowanitwong, fungiman, Argus, uleko, earthtraveler, Alex99, angybone has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Bufo: NumbersJamesp 1 01-22 01:24
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-21 23:43]

Hi James,

A nice capture from this for me new (and as I read in your note rare) penguin,well captured with a nice low POV and lightning,tfs


Hello James !
This is a wonderful picture ! Sharp details, nice natural colors, beautiful composition and POV, and the blue sky makes a fantastic BG. I also like the pose of the bird, with his small wings open, it is funny and unusual.I didn't know this species of penguins, and this shows very nicely that on TN you can learn new things every day. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-01-22 0:08]

Hi James and a very warm welcome back, my friend!

Nice to see you back here and with some fine shots like this one. I hope everything went well in your trip and you came back with a big smile on your face :)
We are sure happy to have you here again :)
This is a lovely penguin shot and of a species that hardly saw here before - the Yellow Eyed Penguin.
The pose in which you've captured it is great - looking like he wants to fly. The details are very nice and the colors are gorgeous.
Splendid work my friend!

Bravo and TFS

Hi James

Great low-down POV! Good colors and great pose.


Hello James,
You have wonderful collection pictures and all are beautifully captured. This one looks rather strange to me but well captured in good details and contrast. I like it the way it is walking.

Hello James
Wonderful shot of this Yellow Eyed Penguin,
Great focusing,colors and BG,Superb shot.

Good Luck

Hi James,
Thanks of the kind comments this is a great shot of a Yellow Eyed Penguin, stunning detail, lovely colours, really nice composition, all the best Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-01-22 0:57]

Hi James,
Welcome back, it's nice to see another photo from you again.
It's a lovely capture of this rare and endangered penguin. It's face looks so interesting. I liked the pose you captured and the composition.
Best wishes,

Hello James,

Very nice pose of this penguin. Good composition, POV and focus. Beautiful light and nice natural colours.

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2008-01-22 1:15]
  • [+]

Hi James
couple of years ago I went to some place on the south island, can't exactly remember where it was and sat in a wooden shelter for hours and hours to see this species. "they will come out of the water by tens, maybe even hundreds" some people had promised me. Finally after more than 4 hours one yellow eyed pinguin stepped from behind a distant rock where it had been all the time. Yahooooooooo!!
I am glad you were more lucky and were able to shoot this nice picture.
Best wishes and "welcome back",

Hi James

Good capture of this rare penguin. Good pose and POV. Well composed on teh angled hill.


Hi James,
Nice to see you comeback with this rare species. This beautiful Yellow-eyed Penguin is well seen on the slope. Sharp and well exposed image. Thanks for the informative note that describe this Yellow-eyed Penguin very well.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-01-22 3:36]

Hi James!
Welcome back :)
I hope you enjoyed Japan!
I've never heard of this Penguin before so thanks for sharing this!
The image is absolutely P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!
The pose is a classic and the eye contact is excellent!
Great composition and low-down POV.
Very sharp as well.
Superb work my friend.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-22 5:04]

Hello James,
Excellent capture of this rare species of NZ Penguin, the Yellow Eyed in a great pose and well composed on a grassy slope.
Nice to read that conservation measures are having some success despite desease.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-01-22 7:23]

Hello James,
Welcome back, I expect you've got a few pictures up your sleeve by now! This is a very fine capture of this rare and ancient species. I hope enough measures are taken to save it for the future.
Many thanks also for the interesting note, Ulla

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-01-22 7:29]

Hi James,
good to see you back and it sounds like you've had another great trip. You've caught this rare beauty in a lovely pose and a perfect compo. It's good to hear they're doing so well at this particular spot.

Hello James,
Thank you for sharing this endangered species of Yellow eyed Penguin from NZ!
perfect pose with good sharpness, vivid colour and details in the shot and also the most informative notes
many thanks

Hi James, Welcome back world traveler! You left us with a Puffin and return with a Penguin. You blessed man! What a cutie this one is. The pose is super, fine focus, color, and nicely composed. TFS

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-22 9:47]

Hi James.
I am glad that you are here again and shared a nice picture. Subject is so attractive, your model is simply charming. Its pose, curve of the land and vegetation are superb. Richness of colours are fantastic too. Bravo and TFS. Welcome in 2008 year.
Yours Alexei.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-22 12:20]

Hello James,
Unique photo of this Penguin. The light on the head is fantastic. Very good low POV and sharpness. Great pose and eye-contact.

I can hear the music he's dancing to! Lovely POV and great pose!!! WONDERFUL!

Calibration Check