On October 7-8, 14-15 and 20-22 the Detroit Zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., closing early for Zoo Boo. Get your tickets here!


Rockhopper penguin

Eudyptes chrysocome

At the Detroit Zoo
The rockhopper penguins can be seen at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center – the largest penguin facility in the world – along with the macaroni, gentoo, king and chinstrap 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.

Rockhopper penguins have black and white feathers, with yellow feathers extending from their eyebrows backwards. Rockhopper penguins are the smallest of the six species of crested penguins.

Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Fun Facts

  • The name rockhopper comes from the bird’s ability to jump off cliffs. When on land, they tend to hop. They can jump up to 6 feet.

  • The male can produce “penguin’s milk” for their hatchlings if the females do not return with food.