Macaroni penguin Facts

Macaroni penguin Facts
Macaroni penguin belongs to the group of crested penguins. It can be found from the Sub-Antarctic region to the Antarctic peninsula. Macaroni penguin spends most of its life on the sea. It visits rocky slopes of various islands to take a rest and reproduce. Macaroni penguin is the most numerous species of penguin. Unfortunately, number of these penguins in the wild is not stable due to introduction of predators, lack of food, climate changes and pollution of the sea. Macaroni penguin is currently classified as vulnerable.
Interesting Macaroni penguin Facts:
Macaroni penguin can reach 28 inches in height and 12 pounds of weight.
Macaroni penguin has golden-yellow crest on the head that stretches from the center of the forehead to the nape. It has black plumage on the head, back and upper side of the wings, while belly and bottom side of the wings are covered with white feathers.
Macaroni penguin has large, orange-brown bill, red eyes, stiff wings, streamlined body and pink legs and feet.
Macaroni penguin is named after its yellow crest which resembles the trendy hats called "macaronis" that were popular during the 18th century.
Macaroni penguin is active during the day (diurnal).
Macaroni penguin is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the krill, small fish and squids.
Macaroni penguins dive to a depth of 50 to 200 feet and stay under the water for up to 2 minutes to find food. During the molting season, which lasts 4 weeks and takes place after the mating season, macaroni penguins do not eat.
Natural enemies of macaroni penguins are leopard seals, Arctic fur seals, skuas, giant petrels and kelp gulls.
Mating season of macaroni penguins starts in October-November.
Breeding grounds usually host 100.000 to 3 million breeding couples.
Macaroni penguins are monogamous birds. They use unique calls to find their long-term mating partners at the beginning of the breeding season.
Female lays 2 eggs in the shallow nest in the ground lined with small rocks. Second egg is always larger and usually the only one that survives.
Both male and female take part in the incubation of the eggs which lasts 37 days. Newly born penguins stay in the nest during the first 23 to 25 days, until they become covered with feathers that are essential for thermoregulation. Father takes care of the chicks during this period, while female provides food. After that period chicks stay in crèches (nursery groups) until development of waterproof feathers at the age of 60 to 70 days.
Macaroni penguins reach sexual maturity at the age of 5 (females) to 6 (males) years.
Macaroni penguin can survive 15 to 20 years in the wild.

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