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Rockhopper penguin

Eudyptes chrysocome

Rockhoppers are the smallest of the crested penguins. The head has bright yellow and black spiked feathers and perform bowing behaviour in order to attract a mate and declare their territory. They are aggressive birds and defend the territory determinedly with their sharp beaks. 

Our rockhopper penguin colony can be seen on their ‘pebble beach’ or you can admire their skills at the underwater viewing area. They share their area with our gentoo penguins. 

We have two rockhopper penguins but 41 gentoo penguins.

Animal class


Conservation status

The IUCN considers rockhopper penguins to be facing a high risk of extinction. Over the last 30 years, the population has declined by 30 per cent.




It is estimated there could be as many as 1,750,000 pairs of breeding rockhopper penguins but numbers are in decline.


Piscivore. The rockhopper penguin eats mainly krill, but will also eat squid and fish.