Rockhoppers may be one of the world’s smallest penguins (only reaching 50 cms tall) but they have big personalities!
Like all rockhoppers, ours are distinguished by their crest of spiky yellow and black feathers on top of their heads. Both males and females wear these feathery crowns but it takes time for them to grow in - the smaller the set of feathers, the younger the penguin.
During breeding season, rockhoppers congregate in large colonies. They annual return to the same breeding ground, often returning to the same nest with the same partner.
When raising their chicks, both rockhoppers will help keep the egg warm. The pair also acts very aggressively to anything that may come too close to their brood, often pecking threats away.
The rockhopper penguin is currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. In the last 30 years, the overall population has been estimated to have gone down by 30%.