Macaroni Penguin Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Of all the things you could call a penguin, macaroni seems pretty strange, doesn't it? You might have a few questions about this animal, like is that really what they are called? How did they get their name? This lesson will teach you all about macaroni penguins!

What Are Macaroni Penguins?

Macaroni penguins are a special kind of penguin that are closely related to the royal penguin. There are lots of macaroni penguins in the world- over 18 million! This is more than almost any other kind of penguin.

Macaroni penguins are one of six species of crested penguins. Crested penguins have feathers on their heads.
macaroni penguin

Macaroni penguins, and all penguins, are birds. They are about 2 feet tall and weigh only 10 or 11 pounds. That's about as big as you were when you were only a few months old! Macaroni penguins have black backs, black wings, and white bellies. They get their name because they have yellow feathers on the side of their heads called aigrettes. These aigrettes look like macaroni noodles! Macaroni penguins also have reddish-brown bills, or beaks.

Where Do Macaroni Penguins Live?

Macaroni penguins only live in the continent of Antarctica. They can be found in the cold waters and islands off the coast of Antarctica and really like to live in rocky areas.

Macaroni penguins live on the rocky coastline of Antarctica.
macaroni penguin

Some macaroni penguins build nests using pebbles, mud, and sand, but others lay their eggs on the bare rock. In the winter, macaroni penguins are found mostly in water, but in the summer, they have to come on land to lay their eggs and care for their babies.

What Do Macaroni Penguins Eat?

Macaroni penguins are carnivores. A carnivore is an animal that eats meat. Macaroni penguins like to eat fish, squid, and krill. Krill are tiny shrimplike animals that live in the water. They spend half the year (the colder months) in the ocean hunting for food to eat.

How Do Macaroni Penguins Grow?

Macaroni penguins live and lay their eggs in big groups called colonies. Some of their egg-laying colonies can have more than 100,000 penguins in them!

A group of macaroni penguins is called a colony.
macaroni penguin

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