Eudyptes sclateri pairs breed in large colonies usually with rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome). The males usually return to the vicinity of the previous nesting site two weeks before the females return. The pre-egg stage is marked by lots of activity and fighting. The nest site is usually on flat rocky ground no higher than seventy meters above sea level. The female, who usually forms the nest cup, rotates on her breast and kicks and pushes dirt away from the cup with her feet. The male then usually rings the nest cup with rocks and mud and lines it with a little grass if it is available. Egg laying occurs in early October and lasts three to five days, during which time, the female fasts. The clutch normally contains two eggs with the second egg noticeably larger than the first. The eggs are normally a chalky pale blue or green and later become a light brown. After the second egg is laid, incubation begins and lasts for approximately thirty-five days. Usually, the first egg, which is smaller, is lost (at least ninety-eight percent of the time) and the second, larger egg is the only one to hatch. Males and females take turns incubating eggs. Two to three days after the eggs hatch, the female disappears and leaves the male to guard the nest. The guard stage lasts three to four weeks, during which period the male fasts and the female returns daily to feed the chick regurgitated food. The fledgling period, when the chicks leave the island, normally begins in February, at which point the chick enters adulthood (Richdale 1951; Stonehouse 1975; Muller-Schwarze 1984; Williams 1995).
Key Reproductive Features: Iteroparous; Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual; Oviparous