| Latin Name
| Conservation Status
|Blue/Black & White
| Up to 55 cm (21 inches)
|2 - 3 Kgs (4.5 - 6.5 lbs)
| Life Expectancy
|10 Yrs (Average)
Rockhopper Penguins are named after the way they hop from rock to rock when moving around their colonies. They reach heights up to 55 cms (21 inches) and they weigh between 2 and 3 kgs (4.5 - 6.5 lbs).
Their head and back are blue/black in colour and they have a white coloured front. They have a yellow line along their brow which extends to a feathery crest. They have small red eyes and a orange coloured beak.
Rockhopper Penguins are loud, aggressive birds and they use a call known as "ecstatic vocalization" to attract mates. As well as vocalizing they also communicate by head shaking, bowing, preening, and head and flipper waving.
Rockhopper Penguins are found in large colonies on sub-antarctic islands during the breeding season and they spend their winters at sea.
Rockhopper Penguins mainly feed on krill, fish and squid.
Rockhopper Penguins breed during the spring and summer and the female will lay 2 eggs in a rocky burrow. Usually the first laid, smaller egg is lost during incubation, or if it is retained it usually does not hatch.
The egg is incubated by both parents and after approximately 5 weeks it hatches. The chick is cared for by both parents and it joins a creche with other chicks when it is approximately 3 weeks old.
When the chick reaches 10 weeks old it will have gained its full adult plumage and is ready to go to sea.
Predators of Rockhopper Penguins include blue sharks, fur seals and leopard seals. Eggs and chicks fall prey to skuas, petrels, kelp gulls and other sea birds.
Subspecies of the Rockhopper Penguin are:
Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome
Eudyptes chrysocome filholi
Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi
Rockhopper Penguins are also known as:
Southern Rockhopper Penguin
Rockhopper Penguins are members of the crested penguin group which also includes the:
The current population of Rockhopper Penguins is approximately 4 million pairs.
Rockhopper Penguins are the smallest of the 6 species of crested penguins, but they are the most widespread.