CHICAGO – Two Magellanic penguin chicks hatched this month at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
The penguins, who are being referred to as Chick 420 and Chick 421, are siblings whose eggs were laid by Chile and JR. The breeding season for the birds began in late March.
The biological parents are caring for Chick 420, who hatched May 17, while a foster pair, Howard and Georgia, are raising Chick 421, who was born Monday.
According to the aquarium, having two pairs of parents raise the chicks allows the babies to get individualized attention while the parents get experience caring for chicks.
Chick 420 weighed 76 grams and Chick 421 weighed 64 grams.
Cameras and sensors will be used to monitor the chicks. Staff will perform quick check-ups and collect weigh the chicks.
“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 responsibilities.”
Full growth is expected after two to three months. Until then, penguin trainers will monitor the chicks for additional milestones, and track vocalizations, hydration levels, grooming and more.