Rockhopper penguins are named after the way they hop from rock to rock in their Sub-Antarctic island colonies. Visitors to the Antarctic may catch a lucky glimpse of these comical penguins on Saunders and the Falkland Islands.

One of the smaller penguin species at not quite two feet tall, rockhoppers are feisty and sometimes downright aggressive. Their mating routines and calls are particularly gregarious, made especially comical to onlookers by their tufted heads, which give the appearance of angry eyebrows. Rockhopper chicks are equally plucky, taking to the sea at a mere 10 weeks old.

Visitors – Be Respectful, Please!

Stumbling across penguin colonies and rookeries is a frequent and pleasant surprise along Natural Habitat’s many Antarctic journeys, although penguin sightings can never be guaranteed. These independent birds roam the sea, islands and continent across Antarctica and it’s not at all uncommon to come across two, three or even four species at one time.

As much fun as it is to interact with these inquisitive, fascinating birds, visitors must always keep their distance. Many species of penguin are listed as threatened and or vulnerable species, including the magellanic and rockhopper penguin.

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This post was republished with permission from the Quark travel blog.