Rockhopper penguin

At the Detroit Zoo
The rockhopper penguins can be seen at the Penguinarium – the first zoo facility built specifically for penguins – along with the macaroni, gentoo and king penguins.  A unique circular pool lets the birds swim continuously, giving them the ability to swim fast enough to porpoise and “fly” through the water.  The Detroit Zoo is one of the few zoos where penguins can display this natural behavior. 


The rockhopper penguin has black and white feathers, with yellow feathers extending from its eyebrows backwards.  The name rockhopper comes from its ability to jump off cliffs.  When on land, it tends to hop. 


Scientific name: Eudyptes chrysocome
Continent: South America
Habitat: High grasses and rocky shorelines
Size: 16-18 inches tall
Weight: Average of 7 pounds
Diet: Primarily krill, but it also squid and other crustaceans
Reproduction: Mating season begins in early spring or late summer. The male will sit on the egg for four months until it hatches.
Lifespan: 10 years
Conservation Status: Vulnerable



The first egg produced by the rockhopper penguin is usually 20-50% smaller than its second egg.

The male can produce “penguin’s milk” for the hatchling if the female does not come back with food.