Hardback - August 2013 - AU $49.95

An engaging blend of accessible writing, the latest scientific research and over 400 breathtaking photographs of the 18 penguin species.

Penguins are, perhaps, the most loved of birds. We’ve been fascinated by them for just about as long as we’ve known they existed. When penguins are on land, their actions appear to us so humorous and expressive that we can be excused for thinking we understand them perfectly, identifying with what looks like moods and foibles similar to our own. Little do we realise that their private life is as complex and mysterious as that of any wild animal or that the bulk of their existence — in terms of time, space and survival skills — takes place very far from our prying eyes, hidden beneath the ocean waves. + Full description

While a few types of penguins are relatively well-known — thanks to zoos, books, films and select travel destinations — not everyone realises the family is represented by 18 species (or even 19, depending on the taxonomy used). Those with retiring personalities or nocturnal habits tend to remain overlooked and rarely photographed. Likewise for species restricted to distant islands, for example the Snares and Erect-crested penguins of the New Zealand Subantarctic, or the extravagantly plumed Northern Rockhopper found on Tristan da Cunha and other isolated islands of the southern Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Many of the extraordinary facets of penguin life are only just being revealed. This book is the first to comprehensively cover all of the 18 penguin species in an engaging blend of accessible writing, the latest scientific research and over 400 breathtaking photographs.

- Short description


"If you are not yet enamoured by penguins, you will be after reading this book"
Denise Elias, The Sunbird, 2013

"Tui de Roy is a world-renowned photographer of Southern Hemisphere seabirds and it is her work – over 400 spectacular penguin photos and fascinating stories about her encounters with these creatures – that are the glue that holds this book together... this weighty book mashes together personal reflection, science and species profiles."
Australian Birdlife, Volume 2, Number 4 2013

"This wealth of images is a feast for the eyes. The book summarises our current knowledge on penguins in a very readable way and is impressive from its equal treatment of all species, even the rarest."
Michael Lenz, Canberra Bird Notes, 38 (3), pg. 255

"the first book to comprehensively cover all 18 penguin species in an engaging blend of accessible writing, the latest scientific research and more than 400 breathtaking photographs... This book is a spectacular celebration of the penguin family and a highly readable volume which will appeal to anyone who is into birds.
I found myself amazed with every page turned. This book is a great addition to anyone's library."
Lloyd Marshall, Talking Birds, March 2016, pp. 17


Hardback | August 2013 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9781486300563 | 240 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs


  • Over 400 superb photographs
  • Accessible writing
  • Latest research


Prologue: Penguin passion
Map of Global Distribution of Penguins

Tui De Roy
Penguin Seasons: The cycle of life
Stripes and Brays: The ‘Jackass’ Foursome
Long-tailed Trilogy: The Antarctic Trio
Island Dandies: The Crested Penguins
Multitudes in Deep Trouble: The Rockhoppers
Fairies of the Night: An Odd Couple
Monarchs of the Far South: Kings and Emperors
Mark Jones
Penguins and People: A retrospective
March of the Fossil Penguins
How Penguins Store Food
Penguin Colours and Pigments
Waitaha Penguin: Dynamic history
Adélie Penguin: Bellwether of climate change
Using Satellites to Monitor Populations
Beyond Prying Eyes: Tracking penguins
Marking Penguins: Minimizing impacts
The Crested Penguin Egg-size Conundrum
Emperor Youngsters on the Move
Little Blues: Facing big challenges
Galapagos Penguins: An uncertain future
African Penguins: A troubled history
Magellanic Penguins: Living with people
Southern Rockhopper: Species in decline
MBE Northern Rockhopper: Tragedy on Tristan
Julie Cornthwaite
Penguin Who’s Who: 18 species worldwide
Fascinating Penguin Facts
Penguin Range and Population Staus
Species Profiles: Emperor, King, Adélie, Chinstrap, Gentoo, African, Magellanic, Humboldt, Galapagos, Southern Rockhopper, Northern Rockhopper, Macaroni, Royal, Fiordland, Snares, Erect-crested, Yellow-eyed, Little Blue
Where to see penguins
Further reading


Tui De Roy is a highly acclaimed writer and photographer whose previous books include the ground-breaking Albatross (2008) and Galápagos: Preserving Darwin’s Legacy (2009). Writer and photographer Mark Jones has collaborated with Tui on many projects. Julie Cornthwaite completes the New Zealand based team at The Roving Tortoise Photography. Their travels have spanned virtually everywhere penguins are found, from the sun-baked lava shores of the Galápagos Islands to the deep-frozen Antarctic where Emperor penguins nest.