ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mating & Breeding Habits of Macaroni Penguins

Updated on June 14, 2012

Breeding Colonies

Macaroni Penguins are one of six different species of crested penguins, a close relative of the more well known Royal Penguin. This penguin species can be found from the Sub-antarctic to the Antarctic Penisula, and makes up one of the largest breeding colonies of all species of penguins, breeding once yearly.

Breeding takes place during the summer months. Once the breeding period is over, the colony takes to the sea for the next six months. During their time at sea, some Macaroni Penguins, equipped with geolocation sensors, have been recorded travelling over 6,000 miles in the Central Indian Ocean on their quest for food.

Macaroni Penguins are estimated to consume more than nine million tons of krill each year. Antarctic krill makes up the majority of the penguins diet during the mating season. Macaroni Penguins also eat a great deal of crustaceans, fish, and squid.

Mating Habits

Males begin breeding at around the age of five, while the breeding age for females starts at around age six. According to studies, three quarters of penguins will keep the same mate the following year. The females lays two eggs. The first egg is discarded once the second egg is laid. The second egg is usually the larger, better egg of the two. Both parent penguins take turns caring for and incubating the egg.

During the first twelve days of the incubation process egg warming time is shared equally between the male and female penguin, after which the male returns to sea. The female stays and continues incubating the egg until the male returns and the female can take her turn at sea.

Both parent penguins lose approximately half of their body weight during the incubation period and before the chick is hatched due to fasting. For the first two months both parents will take care of the new hatchling until he is old enough to go out to sea alone.

There are approximately over eleven million pairs of Macaroni Penguins, yet they are considered to be a vulnerable species. This is because from the 1970s to the 1990s, their numbers declined drastically. This was a decline of approximately 50% of the Macaroni Penguin population.

Populations of Macaroni Penguins can be found in the following regions including: Prince Edward Island, Marion Islands, Chile, Antarctica, Antarctic Penisula, Australia, New Zealand, and the Falkland Islands.Macaroni Penguins are beautiful yellow crested creatures that are very vocal and showy during their mating rituals, their breeding colonies are an amazing sight to see.

Some common predators of the Macaroni Penguins includes a variety of seals. The Antarctic Fur Seal and Leopard Seal will sometimes hunt adult Macaroni Penguins while in the water, but mainly stick to eggs and chicks when hunting for food. a variety of seals are the most common predators of the Macaroni Penguins.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)