Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Penguin Siblings

Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1666

Shedd Aquarium, a
leader in animal care, recently welcomed two Magellanic Penguin

The chicks hatched following the annual breeding season that
began with nesting. In late March, the Magellanic and Rockhopper
Penguins began creating nests and preparing for the breeding season
after animal care experts shifted the light cycle and scattered
nesting materials in the aquarium’s Polar Play Zone exhibit.

Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1670

Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1684

Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1697
Photo Credit: Shedd
Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Both Magellanic Penguin eggs were produced by the same breeding
pair: Chile and JR.

“Chick 420” hatched on May 17, and bonding with the
biological parents began immediately. Chick 420 will remain in the
nest with both adults who will rear the young bird.

“Chick 421” hatched a few days later on May 20. Attending
chicks is a full-time job with duties shared by both parents. By
having the chicks raised by two different pairs, each chick gets
individualized attention and the parenting birds all get additional
experience as they learn how to best care for chicks. Therefore,
the second egg was given to foster parents, Howard and Georgia.
According to keepers, the pair has been taking turns feeding and
incubating the chick like it was their own.

“Having a chick successfully hatch from its egg is just the
first of many milestones that we look for in these first few weeks,
but our team is cautiously optimistic,” said Lana Gonzalez,
manager of Penguins and Sea Otters. “We’ll continue to monitor
both chicks closely over the next few weeks, looking for consistent
weight gain and to see how the parents are doing with sharing their

Upon hatching, Chick 420 weighed 76 grams, and Chick 421 weighed
64 grams. The animal care staff will monitor the birds from afar,
with the help of cameras and sensors set up behind-the-scenes,
stepping in only for quick check-ups and collecting weights for the
chicks. Full growth is expected after two to three months, but
until then, Penguin trainers will continue to monitor the
hatchlings for additional milestones, as well as tracking
vocalizations, hydration levels, grooming and more.

The newest arrivals are Shedd’s second and third Magellanic
Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) hatched and raised at the
aquarium, after Nia, who just celebrated her first birthday earlier
this month. Since some of the aquarium’s Magellanic Penguins are
just now reaching reproductive maturity and beginning to pair off
and participate in breeding season, the arrival of another
Magellanic Penguin chick was increasingly likely.

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Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1731

Magellanic Penguin Chick_BRH_1759

Source: FS – Zoo Borns
Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Penguin Siblings