They nest in dense vegetation in dunes and coastal forest, with nests typically being isolated from each other. At sea, Yellow-eyed Penguins forage in pairs or alone.
Endemic to New Zealand, Yellow-eyed Penguins breed on the east and south coast of the South Island, on and around Stewart Island, the Auckland Islands, and Campbell Islands.
Migration and Vagrancy:
Resident. Adults can be found near the breeding colonies throughout the year. Juveniles disperse as far north as East Cape, North Island, but none have been recorded in Australia.
Breeding Season and Moult:
Yellow-eyed penguins have a very long chick-rearing period (100 days). Consequently, breeding takes from September to February. Moult occurs at the end of the breeding period.
Yellow-eyed Penguins feed mainly on fish. Both, pelagic and demersal species are taken. Cephalopods are taken to a lesser extent, but may be more important for immatures and for adults in years when available fish stocks are limited.