Family Penguins (Spheniscidae)


Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi)


French: Gorfou de Moseley German: Nordfelsenpinguin Spanish: Pingüino saltarrocas septentrional
Other common names: Tristan Penguin

Eudyptes serresianus moseleyi

Mathews and Iredale

, 1921,

Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha Group


Usually considered conspecific with E. chrysocome, but recent molecular evidence#R supports split, along with clear morphological, ecological and behavioural differences including broad vs narrow superciliary stripe (2); much-enhanced number and length of ornamental head plumes (3); bolder pattern of black and white on underside of flipper (1); reportedly different song (at least 1); reportedly different ecology relating to water temperature and foraging behaviour (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S Atlantic at Tristan da Cunha and Gough I, and S Indian Ocean at Amsterdam I and St Paul I.

Descriptive notes

51–62 cm; 2·4–4·3 kg. Rather small yellow-crested penguin with narrow anterior brow, robust bill often more or less hooked. Larger than Southern Rockhopper Penguin, with... read more


Very noisy at colony. In display utters rhythmically repeated loud grating barks mixed with yelled... read more


Marine and apparently pelagic. Seems to have wider temperature tolerance than all other members of... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly euphausiids (especially Euphausia vallentini and Euphausia lucens) and amphipods, including the hyperiid ... read more


At Tristan da Cunha arrival at the colony has been reported in Sept, with first egg-laying in Oct. Elsewhere birds arrive at their colonies... read more


Pre-moult period at sea 20–35 days; birds remain at sea for c. 6 months from Apr/May to Sept/Oct,... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. The global population numbers approximately 265,000 breeding pairs, of which the great majority, c. 233,400 pairs, are on Gough I and Tristan da Cunha (83,000 on... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 9 April 2020).