Thursday, June 19, 2014

Aquarium of the Pacific welcomes new penguin chicks to Long Beach

New penguin chick born at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach. (Photo credit: Robin Riggs)
LONG BEACH >> The Aquarium of the Pacific welcomed two new residents over the last few weeks — a pair of penguin chicks being cared for by their parents in nest burrows inside the Keyes Penguin Habitat.

Parents Patsy and Noodles gave birth to a chick a week ago, and penguin parents Kate and Avery birthed a chick 2½ half weeks ago. The new chicks can be seen by the public when they leave their nests and join the other birds, likely at the end of the summer, officials said Tuesday.

Magellanic Penguins are a temperate species native to the coasts of Argentina and Chile in South America, according to the aquarium. It takes between 38 and 43 days of incubation before a Magellanic Penguin egg will hatch.

The chicks hatch with their eyes closed, and they are able to open their eyes about a week later. Magellanic Penguin parents take turns incubating the eggs on the nest and feeding and raising the chicks after they hatch. The chicks fledge, or replace their downy newborn feathers with water-tight sub-adult feathers, after about 90 days.

The aquarium’s penguin chicks are expected to fledge in late August or early September and join the other penguins in the viewable parts of the exhibit. It is also around that time that caretakers will know if they are male or female.

In the meantime, the public can help support the penguins at the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific through the Adopt an Animal program. Adoptions start at $25 and include various benefits such as a photo of your adopted animal, adoption certificate and invitations to special events, and more.

— Staff report

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