Galapagos Penguins mate for life and are
opportunistic breeders. In good conditions a pair can produce
three clutches in a year.
They normally molt before breeding, and are
the only penguins to molt more than once a year.
During the two week molting period they avoid
the water, and fast. Courtship involves preening of the mate's
head, wing slapping, and bill crossing.
Nesting occurs on Fernandina and
Isabela islands throughout the year with the majority of nests
being seen May-January. Some penguins may mate as often as every
Female penguins lay 1-2 eggs each season. The eggs are
laid in burrows under the lava and the pair shares the
responsibility of watching over the nest.
years with warm waters from the El Niño Current, life changes in
the Galapagos including heavy declines in the penguin
Both parents tend the eggs for 38-40 days. Chicks
molt, get their adult feathers, and are on their own in about
Penguins are somewhat myopic and
often go to the wrong place on their way to their nest or mate,
and this can get them into trouble with other penguins.