Rockhopper Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper Penguin

With their distinctive crown, rockhoppers are not to be missed!

Our Expert Says… "Another Falklands highlight, these penguins are well-named. They can climb sheer cliffs that most humans would struggle to deal with, even with special equipment. You can sometimes find rockhopper nest sites right at the top of cliffs - a testament to their abilities and proof that penguins aren't all ungainly on land!"

Rockhopper penguins are one of the smaller species, but also one of the most distinctive! One of several species of crested penguin, rockhoppers sport a "crown" of spiky yellow and black feathers on their heads. The chicks are not born with crests, though - these develop with age.

What you will see
Highlights
Our trips

Pictures of Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper Penguin

Highlights where the Rockhopper Penguin can be seen

Bleaker Island

Bleaker Island (known as Isla Maria in Spanish) has had at least 3 changes of the name since the Falkland Islands were first discovered and colonized. It was first named Long Island - a rather unimaginative title because that’s what it is, long and thin. Its name was changed to Breaker Island and it appeared like this on maps and charts until 1859, when a new chart was published with the name changed to Bleaker. What was probably a printing error has stuck ever since! There was evidence that sealers had been using Bleaker Island as a base, but there was no permanent settlement attempted until 1880 when a house was built and a sheep farm set up. The island has been used for rearing ship ever since, and now has some cattle as well. It’s run as an organic farm and tourist destination, with stewardship of the land to allow both commercial farming and wildlife preservation at its heart. A formally-designated Important Bird Area (or IBA), Bleaker Island is home to a large breeding colony of Imperial Cormorants more than 16,000 strong. Other species to be found here include Gentoo penguins who nest on the appropriately-named Penguin Hill above Sandy Bay. There are also Southern Rockhopper penguins to be found near Long Gulch and Magellanic penguin burrows are widespread. There are also many smaller bird species here, including Falklands grass wrens and pipits, black-chinned siskins, and dark-faced ground-tyrants. There are also some birds of prey including southern caracaras.

Stanley

Stanley (sometimes called Stanley) is the capital of the Falkland Islands and is quintessentially British - albeit reminiscent of a Britain from yesteryear. But there’s something remarkable about seeing the red “telephone boxes” and signs for “fish n chips” sitting in a landscape that’s more like Patagonia than the pastoral English countryside. Stanley is home to 70% of the Falklands’ population, about 2,500 people. There’s a gentle pace to life here, but if there’s a cruise ship or two in the harbor then it can feel quite lively! As well as pubs and “chippies” there are some definite signs that you’re not in Europe. Visit Christ Church Cathedral, opened in 1892, and you’ll enter through an arch built from the jaws of two huge blue whales. A stroll to Victory Green in central Stanley will bring you face to face with a mizzen mast from the original SS Great Britain. Brunel built the world’s first propeller-driven iron ship in 1843, and it was badly damaged by gales when rounding Cape Horn in 1886, limping back to the Falkland Islands where it lay abandoned for almost a century. Walk down Pioneer Row and you’ll see the original settlers’ cottages, not only still standing but in perfect condition. Originally shipped the 8,000 miles from the UK as kits, they were erected quickly by the first settlers to provide warmth and shelter from the sometimes forbidding weather. But no matter what other unique and unusual sites you see in this southern hemisphere town, the Union Jack flags flying and the garden gnomes in gardens won’t let you forget that this is a piece of Britain at the edge of the Antarctic.

Our trips to spot the Rockhopper Penguin

Price
Minimum Price

USD 4400

Maximum Price

USD 18000

Duration (days)
Minimum Days

5

Maximum Days

26

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