There are around 135 breeding colonies for E. robustus on Snares Island, with approximately two nests per square meter. These colonies produce an average of 44 fledglings per year. Breeding begins around age six. The reproductive cycle begins in the first three weeks of September.
The nests are created by digging shallow holes in the ground. These holes are lined with twigs and small branches. Eudyptes robustus builds the nest under trees and shrubs to shield themselves from the sun. If the vegetation is destroyed by storms the breeding grounds are moved (Penguins Around the World 2000).
The first egg is laid is usually small, then 4-5 days later a larger egg is laid. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs for the first 10 days. At this point the male goes to the ocean to feed the female who incubates the eggs for twelve days straight. When the male returns, the female goes to the ocean to feed and the male incubates the eggs for the next eleven days. The first three weeks after the chicks hatch, the male acts as a guard, protecting them from predators. Usually only one of every two chicks survive the guard stage. This high mortality rate is due to weather, primarily rainstorms. Predation and parasites are not significant sources of mortality. Approximately 75 days after hatching the chick goes to sea with the parents and then continues on its own (Muller-Schwarze 1984).