Public safety officers responding on Wednesday, July 31, to the report of an "injured penguin" in the 100 block of Bloomfield Hills Parkway in Bloomfield Hills were able to rescue an injured bird – although not a penguin – and relocate it to a Livingston County nature center.
Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Lt. Jeffrey Gormley said dispatchers received two calls regarding what a caller identified as an injured "penguin" in the area. Officers responding to the area were able to locate the bird, which was subsequently identified as a black-crowned night heron.
"The bird had an obvious leg injury and was quite irritated as officers captured and crated the bird," Gormley said in a news release.
Officers researched the bird and delivered it to the Howell Nature Center in Livingston County where Gormley said staff assured officers they would be able to rehabilitate the animal.
Black-crowned night herons have a stocky body and short neck and legs, with adults having distinctive coloring with a black cap, upper back and scapulars, gray wings, rump and tail, and white to pale gray underparts, according to University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.
The coloration of the bird slightly resembles that of a Galapagos penguin, which is the only species of penguin found north of the equator, an endangered species not native to North America.
Gormley said officers were told the Detroit Zoo breeds small black-crowned herons and releases them in an effort to repopulate the birds to their natural habitat. The bird was tagged with a leg band when captured.
"Although we were upset we didn't find an actual penguin, Bloomfield Hills Public Safety takes pride in the preservation of our wild local critters," Gormley said.