- Common Name
- rockhopper penguin
- Genus Species
- southern rockhopper, Eudyptes chrysocome
northern rockhopper, Eudyptes moseleyi
- Rockhoppers are the smallest of the crested penguins. They have a thin yellow crest that extends behind their red eyes. They also have black spiked feathers above their crest.
- 41 to 46 cm (16 to 18 in.)
- 2.5 kg (5.6 lbs.)
- fishes, squids, krill
- 32 to 34 days
- Clutch Size
- 2 eggs
- Sexual Maturity
- 3 to 8 years
- Life Span
- 10 to 20 years
- subantarctic islands
- Nests on rocky shores
- Globally there are about 1,230,000 southern rockhopper pairs
Globally there are about 265,000 northern rockhopper pairs
- IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed
Crested penguins (genus Eudyptes) lay two eggs. The second-laid egg and the subsequent chick is usually the larger of the two and usually the survivor. It typically hatches first or at the same time as the chick from the first-laid egg. The first-laid egg is often kicked out of the nest by the adults prior to hatching time.
As their name implies, rockhopper penguins have been observed jumping from rock to rock.
For more information about penguins, explore the Penguin InfoBook.
Ecology and Conservation
All 18 penguin species 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.
BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet: Eudyptes chrysocome. Downloaded from birdlife.org
Coats, Judith. Penguins: Flightless Birds of the Southern Hemisphere. SeaWorld Education Department, 2001.
Nuzzolo, Debbie. Penguin March. SeaWorld Education Department, 2002.