Humboldt Penguin

Humboldt Penguin

Spheniscus humboldti

Adopt a Humboldt Penguin

Quick Facts
Height: 26 inches
Weight: 8-9 pounds
Distribution: The western shores of South America, along the coast of Peru and Chile
Habitat: Rocky desert coasts and open seas
Wild Diet: Fish (sardines, anchoveta, and pilchard), occasionally squid, crustaceans
Zoo Diet: Fish (smelt, capelin, trout, and herring) filled with vitamin D supplements

Humboldt penguins have a black back and white underside, with a black band along the chest. Their body is plumper in the middle because of a fat layer (blubber) that protects them from the cold. But do not let the fat fool you—penguins have streamlined bodies to cut through water with little resistance. Like all birds, penguins have feathers, but their feathers are modified to help them "fly" through the water. Their feathers are waterproof and keep out the cold. Strong, stiff flippers help them swim up to 14 km per hour (9 mph). Penguins' back flippers do the steering, and they can turn in tight curves to escape predators.

Status in the Wild

Listed as “vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Conservation Programs Adopt a Humboldt Penguin

Help with the care of Divot and Valentino Humboldt Penguins through our Share the Care program.

Animal Welfare

Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Share the Care

Adopt an Animal today

Support the care of animals through Share the Care. Choose your favorite animal or pick one from our list.

Animal Ambassadors

Meet an Animal Ambassador

From common to unusual mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, get to know the animals that are trained to engage our guests.