The chicks, born last month, are on display for visitors at the Aviary’s Avian Care Center window.
By: NSC Staff
Two baby African Penguin chicks hatched Dec. 16 and 20, respectively, are now on public view at the National Aviary.
The two chicks were nested by Sidney and Bette, and their incubating process was displayed live via the National Aviary’s Penguin Nest Cam. The two chicks have moved out of their nest and into the Avian Care Center window across from Penguin Point.
During a media preview Jan. 12, both chicks were given a medical exam by Dr. Pilar Fish, director of veterinary medicine. The older chick weighed in at 274 grams and the younger chick weighed in at 624 grams (approximately 22 ounces each). The gender of both chicks is unknown at this point. According to National Aviary staff member Teri Grendzinski, the sex is determined via a feather DNA test. It will take several weeks before the results are confirmed.
The climate-controlled Avian Care Center will allow staff members to carefully watch over the chicks. Once they reach maturity, they will rejoin their parents in Penguin Point, which currently holds 20 adult African Penguins.
In addition to viewing the growth of the baby penguins, guests will have the opportunity to listen to a daily Penguin Chick Talk at 2 p.m. in front of the Aviary Care Center window. The discussion will educate guests on the importance of Penguin Point and why the survival of African Penguins is so important. The species is listed on the IUCN Red of List of Threatened Species due to a population below 25,000 worldwide.
For more information, visit the National Aviary’s website.