Thursday, February 12, 2015

First Humboldt Penguin Egg at the OR Zoo

... about 40 days until there will be chicks (video)


By Benjamin Brink | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on February 12, 2015 

It's the season of courtship, lots of noise, and picking out a new nest box for the Humboldt penguins at the Oregon Zoo. Last week they got their first egg and in about 40 days there should be chicks.
Gwen Harris, senior bird keeper at the zoo, candled the first egg to make sure it was fertile and that a chick was inside. Candling is done by shining a bright LED light on the egg to see what's inside. So far so good.

Harris expects about 12 eggs this year. There are many different charts that track all the penguins, the mothers, the fathers, and the children. All the combinations of penguins are studied to determine which pairs can mate for the genetic recommendations the zoo wants to achieve.

Humboldt Penguins at the Oregon Zoo beginning to lay eggs It's the season for Humboldt Penguins at the Oregon Zoo to start laying eggs.
In early March the keepers should start seeing chicks, or what curator Michael Illig refers to as, "Velvety gray plush toys." They're cute.

Penguins at the zoo seem to be a very friendly bunch. They follow Harris as she makes her rounds to the nest boxes and back into the keeper's room where the scales and equipment are. Some of the penguins will come inside the room as if it's their right. They wander around. Check everything out. Maybe look for an early feeding treat.

Then it's back out to join the rest of the penguins. Make noise. Do a little courting. Maybe hunker down in the nest box and wait for an egg to appear.



Gwen Harris, senior bird keeper at the Oregon Zoo, weighs the first Humboldt penguin egg. It's that time of year when the Humboldt Penguins at the Oregon Zoo start laying eggs. They're expecting about a dozen eggs and they will take about 40 days to hatch. Benjamin Brink/Staff

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