Family Penguins (Spheniscidae)


Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)


French: Manchot des Galapagos German: Galapagospinguin Spanish: Pingüino de Galápagos

Spheniscus mendiculus


, 1871,

Galapagos Islands


Possibly sister-species to S. humboldti. Monotypic.


Galapagos Is (Fernandina, Isabela, Bartolomé, Floreana).

Descriptive notes

48–53 cm; 2–2·5 kg. Small penguin with thin white rear eyebrow and relatively long bill. Adult Portrait shot has entire upperparts blackish-grey, sometimes... read more


Donkey-like braying sounds given in various contexts at colony. Contact call, both on land and at... read more


Marine. Nests in coastal areas of volcanic lava fields, near sea-level. Forages inshore in areas of... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly pelagic schooling fish 10–150 mm long, e.g. recorded as taking sardines (Clupeidae) and mullet (Mugilidae); less often squid... read more


Breeding recorded in all months, peaks normally Mar–May and Jun/Jul–Sept, with secondary peak Dec–Mar; in some years two... read more


Sedentary. Non-breeders and juveniles normally move short distance away from colony, and recorded... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Global population estimated at fewer than 2000 individuals, of which c. 95% in W Galapagos (on Isabela I and Fernandina I), remaining 5% in CS (on Bartolom... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez, I., Christie, D.A. & Jutglar, F. (2019). Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 September 2019).