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A History of the Birds of New Zealand.

Eudyptes Schlegell — (Royal Penguin.)

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Eudyptes Schlegell
(Royal Penguin.)

  • Spheniscus diadematus, Schl. indiv. No. 3 in Mus. P.-B. Urinatores, p. 9 (1867, nec Gould).

  • Eudyptes schlegeli, Finsch, Trans. N.-Z. Inst. vol. viii. p. 204 (1876).

  • Eudyptes schlegeli, Buller, Man. Birds of N. Z. p. 100 (1882).

Ad. similis E. chrysolopho, sed major et cristâ pilei majore et splendidiore aureâ; facie laterali gutture et præpectore albis.

Adult. Similar in plumage to Eudyptes chrysolophus, except in having a rich frontal band of yellow, and the cheeks, sides of the head, and throat white, instead of being slaty black. The crest springs from the forehead and spreads outwards, the colour being bright golden or canary-yellow, mixed with black; the long plumes measure two inches and are entirely yellow, the shorter ones are black towards the tips; surrounding the upper mandible there is a narrow band of sulphur-yellow which extends to and fills the lores; and on the fore neck there is a slight wash of grey. The bill, which is even more robust than in E. chrysolophus, is of a uniform reddish-brown colour. Total length 29 inches; length of flipper 6·5; tail 5; bill, along the ridge 2·4, along the edge of lower mandible 2·75; tarsus 1; middle toe and claw 3.

Obs. There is a somewhat interesting specimen in the Otago Museum. It is in a moulting state, and the old plumage is peeling off the body like a reversed glove; the wing-plumage, which is thick-set, is coming off in flakes, disclosing an imbricated surface beneath. Although marked ♂, it is probably a female bird, as there is far less yellow on the coronal region, the vertex being almost entirely black, the brighter colour showing itself only in narrow streaks on both sides of the crest. There is an ashy wash on the face, and the bill is almost black.

There are two examples of this fine Penguin from Macquarie Island in the Otago Museum; and at a meeting of the Otago Institute in October 1877, Professor Hutton exhibited a specimen which had been obtained by the late Mr. Robert Gillies at Brighton, near Dunedin, in March of that year.

Prof. Schlegel’s bird is said to have come from New Zealand, but only on the authority of a dealer (Parzudaky); but Dr. Finsch’s type, in the Leyden Museum, is from Macquarie Island.

There are two eggs of this species in the Otago Museum, also from Macquarie Island. One of these is ovoido-conical, whilst the other is more pyriform; the former measures 3·25 inches in length by 2·4 in breadth, and the latter with a similar length has a greater width by one eighth of an inch. Originally white they are now more or less discoloured, and the surface of the shell is somewhat granulated but without any papillæ.