Crested Penguin (Eudyptes)

Eastern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes c. filhoi)

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Eastern Rockhopper Photo Gallery

The Eastern Rockhopper Penguin has also been called the Indopacific Southern Rockhopper Penguin. The average size is 18 to 23 inches making them amongst the smallest of the Eudyptes penguins. The female being smaller weighing 5.1 to 5.9 pounds than the male weighing 6.2 to 7.5 pounds. E. c. filhoi  has a small reddish bill, a modest narrow yellow plumes which do not join or meet on the forehead and as other rockhoppers have red eyes. They have a black occipital crest and differ from other Rockhopper penguin species by having prominent fleshy margins separating the bill from the feathers. They are also generally less aggressive and boisterous. E. c. filhoi  breeds on Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen, Heard, Macquarie, Auckland, Campbell, Bounty and Antipodes islands. There are 800,000 breeding pairs. They generally breed in colonies on rocky coasts, often climbing steep faces to breed under cave overhangs. They eat small fish and cephalopods. As with other crested penguins, two eggs are laid; a smaller A egg with a mortality rate of 60% to 80% and the larger (by 50%) B egg with a 40% to 60% success rate. It is exceedingly rare for 2 chicks to be reared. Rockhopper penguins can swim up to 5.1 miles per hour. They are the only penguin species that will dive into the ocean feet first rather than head first. A greater than 90% reduction in population have occurred on the Auckland, Campbell and Antipodes Islands, although the reasons are not known. Their average lifespan is 10 years, but they can live up to 30 years. Since now classified as separate species, all 3 Rockhopper species are now considered vulnerable.

Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes c. Moseleyi)

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Northern Rockhopper Photo Gallery

Northern Rockhopper Photo Gallery 1

The average size is 19 to 23 inches making it probably the largest of the 3 Rockhopper species. The males are larger than the females. Their plumage is unique distinguishing from all other Eudpytes penguins. The narrow plumes do not meet at or join on the forehead, and which once past the eye droop in luxuriant bushy crest to reach and extend over the white side of the breast (see above right). Their eyes are red as other rockhoppers. E. c. moseleyi  breeding is confined to the South Atlantic Ocean islands of Tristan Da Cunha archipelago: Tristan Da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough and to the Southern Indian Ocean islands of Amsterdam and Saint Paul. There are 300,000 pairs on Tristan $a Cunha archipelago and Gough, and between 26,000 to 48,000 pairs on Amsterdam and St. Paul. They feed on krill, squid and octopus. Two eggs are laid; a smaller A egg with a mortality rate of 60% to 80% and the larger B egg with a 40% to 60% success rate. It is exceedingly rare for 2 chicks to be reared. Rockhopper penguins can swim up to 5.1 miles per hour. Since the 1950's the population has declined 57% possibly because of changes in marine ecosystems, "climate change" and over fishing for squid and octopus. Since now classified as separate species, all 3 Rockhopper species are now considered vulnerable.
*I want to thank Peter Harrison for the information and pictures on this page.

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