western Pacific and Indian Oceans
Length, 52-55 cm
Estimated at 3.67 million pairs
Tussocks of high grass in temperate, rocky areas; winter months are spent at sea
Pacific Ocean Indian Ocean
Good grooming pays. Behold the rockhopper penguin, which spends a great deal of time making sure every feather is just so. Appearance counts when courting a mate: the male shakes its head and its yellow eyebrows fly into an eye-catching "halo". Once paired up, grooming becomes an important social bond between the monogamous couple. But grooming really pays off by keeping the penguin's coat waterproof, a prerequisite for spending the winter months combing the sea for squid, krill and other crustaceans. This bird covers a wide range of threats: from predators and egg poaching to commercial fishing and pollution.