Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Macaroni PenguinEudyptes chrysolophus
Breeding Range: Circumpolar in subantarctic regions
Falklands Population: 50 breeding pairs
World Population: 9,000,000 breeding pairs
Macaronis nest in Rockhopper colonies in the Falkland Islands due to their tiny population size. Two eggs of unequal size are laid in November, with only the larger egg generally being reared successfully. Chicks creche at 4 weeks of age, and fledge at 11 weeks in late February, with adults moulting shortly afterwards. Breeding adults generally remain within 40km of the nest site during the breeding season, feeding on fish, squid and crustaceans at depths of 15 to 70 metres. Breeding sites are abandoned between April and October as birds migrate northwards to forage in warmer waters. Females can begin breeding at 5 years of age, and males at 6 years. Sexes are similar in appearance. The Macaroni is the world's most numerous penguin, with the Falklands population being of local rather than global importance.