Gough Island: Northern Rockhopper Penguins

Gough Island and a couple other islands of the Tristan group are the only place in the world where one can see the Northern Rockhopper penguins. It’s one of the rarest penguins in the world and almost the entire population of roughly 200,000 breeds here. The penguins are distinctive with distinctive huge “eyebrow” yellow crest feathers and bloodshot red eyes. The crest feathers are the largest of any penguin species. While we arrived by the end of the breeding season, there were still significant numbers on shore, almost all of them occupying higher ledges of the cliffs, wish seals on the ground levels – like a multistory apartment. To get up there, the penguins literally “rock hop” up using their feed and beak to pull up and hold on to the slippery ground.