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Fourth Magellanic Penguin Chick Hatches at Shedd

Surprise fourth and final Magellanic hatchling is the penguin colonies’ newest representative

June 22, 2021

A tiny penguin chick lies on a soft white towel.

A fourth fuzzy new addition has joined the penguin colony and three other recently hatched chicks at Shedd during this year’s nesting season. Another Magellanic chick hatched Saturday, May 29, and initially weighed 88 grams. This chick, like its predecessors, will be reared behind the scenes by an adult penguin pair.

The adult pair, Izzy and Darwin, share responsibilities for caring for the chick, including keeping the hatchling warm and well-fed, as the chick grows rapidly to adulthood in approximately two to three months. While this is the first time Izzy and Darwin raise a chick, the 11-year-old birds are doing a great job rearing the newest arrival.

As the animal care team continues to monitor all four chicks, the newest arrival already weighs over 1,000 grams, which is an excellent sign of growth. The three other Magellanic penguin chicks are also reaching milestones, with all three weighing in at over 3,000 grams each.

In addition, the three chicks over a month of age are beginning to eat solid fish pieces and bond with the adult pairs rearing them as well as the other penguin chicks and the animal care team. The next natural milestone will be weaning from their adult pairs and growing their waterproof feathers that will allow them to learn to swim. These are important steps before the newest arrivals join the full penguin colony in the Polar Play Zone and meet the public.

BACKGROUND: This spring, Magellanic penguins began creating nests and preparing for the breeding season after animal care experts shifted the light cycle and scattered nesting materials in the Polar Play Zone exhibit. This new chick arrived on Saturday, May 29, following hatchlings on Thursday, April 29, Wednesday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 12.

These four arrivals are particularly significant as Magellanic penguins are listed as nearly threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These new arrivals contribute to Shedd’s participation in a conservation effort, the Species Survival Plan, organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and cooperatively managed by accredited institutions.

VISUALS: The first visuals of the fourth Magellanic chick at Shedd Aquarium were captured behind the scenes. The three penguin chicks are also captured in visuals all together. High resolution photos and broadcast-quality footage available for download:https://personal.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8e6b6b885b5f747aa666.
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Video Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin