Macaroni Penguin Facts
You will be able to tell Macaroni Penguins from other species due to the colors of the feathers on top of their
heads. They are yellow and black and very dark in color. The Macaroni Penguin isn’t able to fly due to their wings
being very stiff. However, they are excellent swimmers. They are about 12 pounds as adults and a height of
approximately 28 inches.
Each year the Macaroni Penguin will molt. This is the process of losing their feathers and then them being
replaced. Their appearance is quite different during that period of time.
You will find that the Macaroni Penguin enjoys the cooler climates. They are found along the Antarctic
Peninsula, Sub Antarctic regions, South America and the islands around them. They do take part in migrating
annually and during that time you will find them in different locations than they would normally
They are excellent swimmers thanks to the design of their flippers. They form very large colonies. Social
interaction is very common, especially among the young. The chicks form crèches to keep warm and stay
The Macaroni Penguins seem to get along very well. They are less aggressive than other types. However, they can
be very protective of their young and the females are known to fight aggressively for the attention of certain
males that they would like to mate with.
They hunt in the water and have no trouble catching their prey due to the speed at which they move. Their diet
includes small fish, squid, and krill. They can dive very deep if they need to in order to gain access to their
food if it isn’t plentiful higher up in the waters. They also have excellent eyesight so night time hunting is
When these types of food supplies are scarce they will consume anything that is considered meat in the waters.
They don’t eat for about four weeks during the molting period. This is due to the fact that they can’t swim in the
frigid waters without the protection of their feathers to keep them warm.
Females mature at about five years of age and the males mature about six years of age. There are more Macaroni
Penguins out there that are males than females. As a result of this, the females have the ability to be extremely
selective during the mating process.
The females generally lay two eggs at a time. The first egg is likely to be very small and so the offspring has
a very low chance of survival. The incubation period for the eggs is about 34 days. The pair will take turns
keeping the eggs warm during that span of time.
After the eggs hatch, the father steps in to take care of the young for about three weeks. They don’t have
hardly any feathers so they must be kept warm. It is the duty of the mother to bring food to the young.
More than 18 million Macaroni Penguins thrive at this point in time. However, the numbers continue to drop at an
alarming rate. This is due to them having many predators. It is also due to their natural environment being
affected negatively by human efforts. Therefore they are considered to be vulnerable at this time. Conservation
efforts involve protecting their natural habitat so they have a place to thrive.