The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a South American species which breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the GalÃ¡pagos Penguin. Thise penguin is named after Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist and explorer who first described the animal.
Humboldt Penguins are medium-sized, black and white penguins, growing to 53 cm tall. They have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, to join on the throat. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with a black breast-band extending down the flanks to the thigh. They have a fleshy-pink base to the bill. Juveniles have dark heads and no breast-band.
This penguin nests on islands and rocky coasts, burrowing holes in guano and sometimes using scrapes or caves.
The current status of this penguin is vulnerable, due to a declining population caused in part by over-fishing. Historically it was the victim of guano over-exploitation. The current population is estimated at between 3,300 and 12,000.