Rockin’ Rockhoppers In Motown

The Penguin Post knows the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak very well as it’s within walking distance of my in-laws home, and now we have one regret that we decided to opt for Florida rather than Detroit for our recent Winter holiday, as the zoo in Royal Oak is off to a rockin’ start this month.  Rockin’ as in Rockhoppers as the zoo welcomed seven new rockhopper penguins to their always improving Penguinarium. The four males and three females range in age from 1 to 26.  They arrived in December from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo after its seabird exhibit closed. They were held in quarantine for 30 days.  And now they’re hanging out with the zoo’s other penguins. “The Detroit Zoo is a great place for these birds because we have a lot of experience working with rockhoppers, and our penguin habitat provides temperature and light conditions similar to their former home. This is especially important for the older penguins as it can sometimes be difficult for them to adjust to environmental changes,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Birds Tom Schneider.

Found in the steep terrain of the sub-Antarctic islands, the rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) gets its name from the way it hops from rock to rock. The rockhopper is among the world’s smallest penguin species, standing up to 20 inches tall and weighing about 7 pounds. The black-and-white bird is distinguished by the crest of spiky yellow and black feathers that adorn its head. It has red eyes, a red-orange beak and pink webbed feet.

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