Birch Aquarium Celebrates its First Successful Penguin Hatch Season

Birch Aquarium is thrilled to announce that it has hatched five little Blue Penguin chicks this season! These adorable additions mark a significant achievement in the aquarium’s dedication to penguin care and conservation efforts.

Little Blue Penguin

“It’s so exciting to introduce these juveniles to the colony as they are curious and adventurous and a delight to watch explore their new home through diving and socializing,” said Kayla Strate, Assistant Curator of Birds.

“This is a huge milestone for Birch Aquarium as it’s our first successful contribution to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ avian breeding program.”

The first chick debuted on New Year’s Day in the aquarium’s Penguin Care and Conservation Center.

The two middle chicks hatched on January 23 and January 26, and the two youngest chicks hatched on February 18 and February 20, 2024. Four of the chicks are male, while the aquarium is still awaiting confirmation of the sex of the youngest one.

These are the first chicks hatched at Birch Aquarium since welcoming Little Blue Penguins in 2022.

Little Blue Penguin

This success can be largely attributed to the aquarium’s dedicated Penguin Care Team who worked around the clock to provide the best quality care.

Every decision regarding each chick’s well-being was made with the utmost care and consideration, from recording observations to adjusting breeding plans and more.

“This has been our goal since before our penguin exhibit was even imagined! It truly took expert-level skills to successfully raise our little penguins by hand and I am so proud of my team for rising to the challenge,” said Strate.

During their first few months behind the scenes, the chicks acquire important life skills including how to eat, socialize, and swim. Around the 3-month mark, each chick “graduated” and joined the rest of the colony.

Birch Aquarium

All five chicks have joined the rest of the colony in Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins and can be identified by their colorful wing bands.

See you there!

Follow the aquarium’s social media channels for the latest updates. The aquarium also offers daily penguin talks and feedings where you can discover what makes these seabirds so special. The full schedule can be found on the aquarium’s website here.

See you there, San Diego!

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