Yellow-eyed penguins moult every year.
Moulting, which takes place in February and March, lasts 3-4 weeks.
Unlike other seabirds, penguins moult their feathers all at once, and sometimes look sick – although they are not.
During the moult, plumage is not waterproof and the body is not well insulated.
The penguins are unable to go to sea to feed, and during this time they can lose up to 3-4 kg in body weight.
They are very vulnerable to predation, and disturbances by dogs or people can be fatal.
Moulting is a time of great stress to the penguins, and a search of breeding areas in March and April after the moult can sometimes reveal many dead birds.
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- Physical Characteristics
- Viewing protocol
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- Other Penguin Species