Royal penguins can be confused with macaroni penguins, as both have black and yellow crests on their head. One way to spot the difference is that macaronis have black chins and royals have white chins.
Height: 70cm (27.5in), Weight: 4-5.5kg (8.8-12lb).
These birds have an orange, yellow and black crest that sticks out on the penguin.s head with white/grey throats and black backs.
Royal penguins are found in the southern hemisphere near the Macquarie and Campbell Islands to the south of New Zealand.
They live on a mixed diet of about 50 per cent krill, 48 per cent fish and two per cent squid.
These penguins form long-lasting bonds and nest in large and dense colonies.
The males return in the first week of October to reclaim their former nest site and are joined by the female a week later. They usually breed for the first time at the age of five. Intruders are kept at pecking range and waving of wings is an indication to the intruder they are too close. Their nests consist of shallow depressions in the sand or grass and are lined with stones and grass.
Two eggs are commonly laid but usually only one chick is reared. Incubation lasts for 35 days and is done in 12 day shifts by both parents. Once hatched the male guards the chick for 10-20 days whilst the female feeds the chick daily. The chicks will then join a crhche and will be fed every 2-3 days. At 65 days the juvenile is ready to go to sea.
Royal penguins are classified as Vulnerable by the 2000 Red List of Threatened Species. They are only found on one island group so a natural or human disaster could greatly reduce their numbers. At present there is a total of 850,000 pairs.