Northern rockhopper penguin
approx. 2.5 kg
islands of South Atlantic and southern Indian oceans
Rockhopper penguins are perfectly camouflaged in water both viewed from above and below. Their white bellies blend in against the bright surface of the water and their black backs against the dark ocean depths.
Rockhopper penguins eat small fish, shellfish and squid. They generally search for food in groups, diving to depths of up to 100 metres to catch their prey.
Northern rockhopper penguins are best known for the crests of vivid yellow feathers above the eyes up to ten centimetres in length. The only difference between males and females is the variation in size.
A Fascinating Spectacle
The rockhopper penguins’ mating season is a particular highlight of the summer. A breeding colony on the edge of the Antarctic may comprise up to 10,000 nests. Unbelievably they can find their way back to their nesting spot from the previous year!
The chicks hatch after approx. 33 days incubation. Teamwork is important for rockhopper penguins, both whilst incubating the eggs and rearing their chicks: they strongly and courageously defend their nests - but to each other they are very affectionate.
Good to Know
All penguin species live in the southern hemisphere - in contrast to polar bears who live solely in the northern hemisphere. A meeting between both species is therefore only possible in a zoo.