When M. antipodes mates, the male mounts the female and rests his neck on the back of hers and vibrates his flippers along her sides.
Megadyptes antipodes begins its breeding season in August with the selection of mates and nest sites. Prior to August, beginning in approximately May, M. antipodes begins the courting season. Pairs of M. antipodes usually stay together for years, only parting when one dies or there is a failure to raise a family. The male fertilizes two eggs that have already developed inside the female. Twelve days later the female lays the eggs. Megadyptes antipodes has a 39-51 day incubation period. For six weeks after hatching, the chicks are guarded. One parent will stay at the nest while the other dives for food in the ocean.
After the chicks are six weeks old, both parents will hunt for food in the ocean, leaving the chicks on their own. Chicks usually leave the nest in mid-February. Megadyptes antipodes reaches sexual maturity at two or three for females and three to five for males.
Breeding interval: Yellow-eyed penguins breed once yearly.
Breeding season: Megadyptes antipodes begins its breeding season in August with the selection of mates and nest sites.
Range time to hatching: 39 to 51 days.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 to 3 years.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 3 to 5 years.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Vernon, A. 1991. The Hoiho, New Zealand's Yellow-Eyed Penguin.. New York: Putnam's Sons.
- Houston, D. 1998. "Yellow Eyed Penguin" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001). at http://www.penguin.net.nz/yep/yeps.html.
- Houston, D. 1998. "Yellow Eyed Penguin:Population Status" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001 at http://www.penguin.net.nz/yep/yep2.html.