Photo: E Woehler
Weight: 4-7 kg depending on breeding stage and gender
Height: ~70 cm
Breeding age: 5 years for females,
6 years for males
Breeding frequency: Annual
Breeding season: Variable, although highly synchronized within colonies
Age to fledging: 60-70 days
Longevity: Not well known, probably around 20+ years
Name Derivation: The name is derived from Greek and means "good diver" (Eudyptes) "with a golden crest" (chrysolophus)
What do I eat? Lots of Antarctic krill but also a variety of fish
What eats me? Fur and leopard seals can kill adults, while chicks and eggs are taken by skuas, sheathbills and giant petrels
Range trip time: From 24 hours to 3 weeks
Range trip length: 50 to > 2000 km depending on breeding stage
Depth of water where foraging: 220+ m; however, most dives go to 15-50 m
Distribution & Abundance
Distribution: Circumpolar, generally on subantarctic islands, although one colony is known to exist on the Antarctic Peninsula
Abundance: The breeding population was estimated at 11 million pairs in 1993
Population Status: Not globally threatened.
A huge colony is located near Cape Lockyer on Heard Island, where the macaroni penguins build nest on surprisingly steep slopes. Research was conducted on this colony during the 2003/04 expedition, investigating the penguins' role as predators in the region.
Unlike most other penguins, macaronis lay 2 eggs each breeding season. The second egg is bigger than the first and is typically the only one that hatches.
More information can be found on other Heard Island penguin species: