African penguin with beak open in front of blue sky

Water wings

A pair of African penguins standing on a boiler with wings outstretched, one squawking

When you think of birds, you might imagine a feathered friend soaring in the sky or sitting in a tree. But there’s one kind of bird, the penguin, that doesn’t fly or make a nest in trees, but is still really cool!

African penguin swimming under water

Super swimmers

Penguins are very happy when in the water. They have special adaptations that help them be super swimmers. Their body is shaped to move easily through the water. They use their wings like oars and their webbed feet like swim fins to zoom through the ocean—they can swim up to 15 miles per hour!

Three penguins standing on a rock in their Africa Rocks exhibit at San diego Zoo

Watch the birdies!

You have probably seen cold-weather penguins in movies and on TV, but did you know there are penguins that like to live where it’s warm? There are—one kind are African penguins. The San Diego Zoo's newest exhibit, Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks, is home to a colony of African penguins, and these black-and-white water birds are making the most of their new home. You can check them out on your next visit to the San Diego Zoo or watch them from our Penguin Cam!