The four Magellanic penguin chicks at Shedd Aquarium have joined in on the “field trip” fun. Caretakers have been taking the chicks out from behind the scenes to see new spaces and experience new sounds and sensations as the juvenile birds continue to grow rapidly. These excursions encourage physical exercise and mental stimulation and are part of a welfare plan for the curious hatchlings, creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Just like in the wild, the young birds are weaned and spend most of their time together these days. The four chicks walked around the Abbott Oceanarium, vocalizing to each other and to caretakers, with whom they are forging bonds. The chicks are also nearly done shedding their fuzzy down feathers, which are replaced with the waterproof feathers necessary for swimming.
Shedd will keep the public informed on how the young birds will be named and when guests will be able to see the chicks on exhibit with the rest of the colony. In the meantime, there are several ways that guests can engage with the penguins at Shedd, through planning a visit, symbolically adopting a penguin or participating in a limited time, virtual penguin encounter. Any of these actions can help fuel Shedd’s mission and offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.
VISUALS: Four Magellanic penguin chicks that hatched in May of this year are stretching their wings and getting familiar with the rest of the aquarium. This video shows the chicks vocalizing as they explore Shedd Aquarium’s Abbott Oceanarium, home to animals like beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and more.
The video can be viewed and downloaded here: https://personal.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8e6a698b596373ada198. Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium