Rockhopper penguin

Rockhopper Penguins

Our fine feathered friends bring feisty attitudes to Penguin Plunge. We are home to a colony of both male and female northern rockhopper penguins.

Small birds, big personalities

Known for their yellow crest of feathers, rockhopper penguins have a dramatic look. Rather than waddling like other penguin species, rockhoppers hop from rock to rock in their home territory on craggy island shorelines north of Antarctica. The rockhopper is one of the world’s smallest penguins, but it makes up for it by making plenty of noise.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (at very high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Bird
  • Habitat: The islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Diet: Carnivore – fish, squid, and krill
  • Size: 22 inches
  • Weight: 4.4 to 6.6 pounds
Rockhopper penguin Rockhopper penguin rockhopper penguin
Rockhopper penguin

Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Rockhopper Penguins

Rockhopper penguins often have blood-red eyes.

Though they prefer to stick to shallow waters, rockhoppers are capable of diving 330 feet.

The standard incubation for a rockhopper egg is 32 to 36 days.

They make their burrows in tall grasses called tussocks.

A rockhopper’s beak will start out black and turn orange as it matures.

Rockhoppers will engage in social grooming behaviour, known as allo-preening.

Rockhopper Penguins


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