Four Magellanic penguin chicks have joined the animal family at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.

By Ginger Crichton
June 22, 2020
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Penguin chicks at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Four fuzzy penguin chicks are captivating the caretakers at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium as well as the aquarium’s social media followers.

While the chicks are being raised and fed by adult penguins, the Shedd’s animal care team performs quick daily check-ups on the hatchlings to monitor growth and development and "ensure all four chicks continue to hit critical milestones." When hatched, the birds weighed about 66 to 85 grams, but have grown to 1,200-2,000 grams, the aquarium says.

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Full growth is expected after about two to three months. The animal care team will monitor behaviors such as vocalizations and grooming. So far, all seem to be doing well.

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

“As the chicks continue to grow, they are getting more mobile and curious, so they’ve started cautiously exploring their surroundings,” the aquarium said. “While the hatchlings are not ready for field trips around the aquarium, there’s been initial socialization as well—both with their caretakers and the other chicks.”

The animal care team will determine the sex of the chicks in the coming months, and the hatchlings will then get names.

The number of chicks marks the most Magellanic penguins born at the aquarium following the annual nesting season. The aquarium says, though, that the number of births isn’t likely related to the aquarium’s current closure.

Penguin chicks at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The Shedd Aquarium has been closed to the public since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has been sharing animal adventures and care on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The aquarium is scheduled to reopen to the public July 3.