February 27, 2023
Adventure Aquarium welcomed a bouncing baby boy this month. A penguin chick was born Feb. 15 to parents Sheila and Spud.
Weighing in at 37 grams, or less than a pound, he's a little guy — which is to be expected, given his species. The chick is a little blue penguin, the smallest species of penguin in the world. Commonly called "fairy penguins," they typically grow to about 13 inches in height and 3 pounds in weight and are found along the shores of Australia and New Zealand.
This particular little blue penguin's parents were first-time mates. As the aquarium notes, while penguins are typically thought to be monogamous, little blues breed with different partners. Sheila is also mom to four female penguins at the aquarium: Adelaide, Elanora, Aroha and Phoenix.
"We are beyond excited to welcome yet another chick to our little blue penguin colony," Molly Deese, executive director of Adventure Aquarium said in a release. "Our animal husbandry team is so dedicated to caring for our collection of birds, and successful breeding seasons, as we’ve seen over the past several years, are a direct testament to the hard work that goes into caring for our animals."
The newest chick is currently on display at the aquarium's little blue colony — for now. Once he hits about 3 weeks of age, he'll be taken off display so he can grow out his blue, water-proof feathers for swimming and learn how to grab fish from the biologists on staff. He has not been named, but the aquarium promises one in the "coming weeks."
Though the little blue penguin's population is considered stable, a matter of "least concern" when it comes to conservation watchdogs, some scientists worry that climate change is making it harder for the birds to find food. They typically feast on krill and small fish like anchovies and herring. Adventure Aquarium visitors can catch their feedings up close in Zone A, seven days a week.
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