- Common Name
- macaroni penguin
- Genus Species
- Eudyptes chrysolophus
- A crest of yellow-orange and black plumes extend backwards on the sides of the head, above the eyes. Macaroni penguins have red eyes.
- 51 to 61 cm (20 to 24 in.)
- 4.5 kg (10 lbs.)
- Squids and krill
- 33 to 40 days
- Clutch Size
- 2 eggs
- Sexual Maturity
- Male: 6 years; female: 5 years
- Life Span
- 15 to 20 years
- Subantarctic islands in the Southern Atlantic and Indian oceans
- Flat ground or on steep, rocky slopes
- Estimated 6.3 million breeding pairs among 58 breeding colonies
- IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed
Macaroni penguins lay two eggs in a nest which is usually built in shade under vegetation or rocks.
Both parents incubate the eggs, rotating about every 7 to 12 days.
The early English explorers named this penguin. In the mid-18th century, a young man who wore flashy feathers in his hat was called a "Macaroni." This is also the origin for the words to "Yankee Doodle" sung during the Revolutionary War to poke fun at the poorly dressed Continental Army. The English explorers thought the yellow feathers of this penguin were like a fancy young man called a "macaroni."
For more information about penguins, explore the Penguin InfoBook.
Ecology and Conservation
All 18 species of penguin are legally protected from hunting and egg collecting. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a penguin or its eggs. Every penguin specimen collected with a permit must be approved by and reported to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR).
Penguins are vulnerable to habitat destruction, overfishing of primary food sources, ecological disasters such as oil spills, pollution such as trash in the ocean, and human encroachment into nesting areas.
Coats, Judith. Penguins: Flightless Birds of the Southern Hemisphere. SeaWorld Education Department, 2001.
Nuzzolo, Debbie. Penguin March. SeaWorld Education Department, 2002.
BirdLife International 2018. Eudyptes chrysolophus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22697793A132602631. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22697793A132602631.en. Downloaded on 04 March 2020.