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Snares penguins arrive at the colony in August/September, and lay eggs in September/October. They have to go without food for 37–39 days from arrival until their first feeding trip. Two different-sized eggs (the first is smaller than the second-laid egg) are laid 4–5 days apart. The incubation period is 33 days and, like Fiordland penguins, only the first-hatched chick, from the second-laid egg, usually survives beyond the first few days. Chicks form crèches at about 33 days, and fledge at about three and a half months.
The little information that is available indicates that this species lives mainly on krill, squid and fish.