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L. 71 cm. (28")
Large, yellow-crested, black-and-white penguin. Black upperparts. White underparts froming a black V on throat. Dark grey to black head and cheeks. Long yellow, orange and black plumes project from forehead patch back along crown and droop behind eye. Bill red-brown with pink fleshy margin at base, feet pink with black soles.
Head plumes pale and much reduced, not meeting at the forehead.
 Similar species
Royal Penguin (E. schlegeli) is the only other penguin with crests that meet on the forehead. Royal Penguin has pure white to pale grey cheeks, but light-faced Macaroni Penguins have been reported at some sites. It is not known whether these are local mutations or hybrids. Southern Rockhopper Penguin (E. chrysocome) is smaller, has erectile head plumes, thin yellow supercilium which does not meet over forehead, lacks fleshy gape margins and lacks pointed division between black and white on throat.
Subantarctic islands in South Atlantic Ocean and South Indian Ocean: Antarctica; Argentina; Bouvet Island; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); French Southern Territories; Heard Island and McDonald Islands; South Africa; South Georgia South Shetland, South Orkney and South Sandwich Islands.
Rocky islands for breeding; pelagic otherwise.
Macaroni penguins are pelagic foragers. Their diet includes crustaceans, particularly krill, small fish and squid.
They nest on level to steep ground, often walking hundreds of metres across steep scree slopes to inland nest-sites. They build a nest of mud, small stones and grass. Breeding is highly synchronous within each colony. 1-3, chalky-white or pale bluish or greenish-white eggs are laid in mid-November. Incubated by both parents. Young fed by female and guarded by male but only one usually raised.
At colonies, repeated loud braying, raucous trumpeting (lower pitched in males) with head swinging and flipper beating. Short barking for contact.
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