Posts Tagged ‘Baby Humboldt’

First Penguin Of A Kind

August 11, 2014


The Penguin Post has learned that an adorable silver and white penguin chick living at SeaWorld San Diego is more than just her looks. She’s a scientific breakthrough.

The 12-week-old bird was a product of the world’s first penguin artificial insemination using frozen-then-thawed semen. “This is a technique that has never been performed successfully in any penguin species,” said SeaWorld’s Scientific Director Justine O’Brian. Before this trial run, O’Brian’s team just used frozen semen to inseminate the cold-weather birds because the thawed version had not worked.

But on May 14, things went just swimmingly, and the new technique proved a success when the tiny female Magellanic penguin was hatched.  This has huge implications for penguin breeding, especially of endangered populations going forward.


Penguins In India?

May 31, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that three years after it made the announcement, BMC close to finalising deal to buy six Humboldt penguins at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. Three pairs of Humboldt penguins will make Byculla zoo their home in December, ending a three-year wait by animal lovers in the city to get a glimpse of the exotic seabirds.The BMC is close to finalising a deal with a South East Asian wildlife firm to buy the six penguins at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore. 

Civic officials said the work on building an enclosure for the penguins at the zoo, formally called Jijamata Udyan, had already begun and it would be opened to public in January, “provided the procurement process goes off smoothly”.  “The construction of the temperate-controlled enclosure has started. It will be ready by the time the penguins arrive in December,” a senior BMC official said. The see-through enclosure will have three equally divided areas of water, land and rocks. “Humboldt penguins like to nest in rocks,” a zoo official said. 

The entire project, including five-year maintenance of the enclosure, is expected to cost Rs 19 crore.  The Humboldt penguin is a South American species that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. It is named after the freezing water current it swims in, which gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt. 

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

The BMC had first announced its plans to get penguins for Byculla zoo in 2011. It sought the advice of Thailandbased HKS Designer and Consultants International, which suggested the names of three wildlife firms and also provided cost estimates.  After deliberations, the BMC recently picked a South East Asian supplier, whose name officials refused to divulge as final negotiations are under way.“We are in touch with the parties concerned. We hope the penguins arrive soon — they will Byculla zoo’s star attraction,” said Mayor Sunil Prabhu. “We believe the Humboldt penguins will be able to adjust to the city climate.”  Another BMC official said that a dedicated team of zoo staff and veterinarians would look after the penguins. “The animals’ diet will include fish and vitamin supplements, which are easily available in Mumbai,” he said. 

Adorable Baby Humboldt Born in U.K.

May 23, 2014

The Penguin Post is happy to report that exactly one year after their first meeting penguins Donna and Diavlo have become the proud parents of the first baby penguin to be born at Folly Farm in southwest Wales in the U.K.

The fluffy grey youngster, hatched on Tuesday – one year to the day that the penguins were released into their new enclosure at the park, will now spend the coming weeks being cared for by its parents – with the help of the penguin keepers. It will then be enrolled into penguin school, where it will learn how to eat and fend for itself.



Donna and Diavlo were one of the first sets of penguins to pair off and build a nest together back in February.

Catrin Thomas, penguin keeper at the Pembrokeshire open farm, said: “We are so excited to have our first penguin chick at the park. We all feel like proud parents and are so happy for Donna and Diavlo. We haven’t named the chick yet as we do not know what sex it is but once we do we will give it a suitable name – it may have to begin with ‘D’ though to follow in its parents footsteps.”

Fellow Penguin Keeper, Caroline Davies, added: “We hope this is just the start of a deluge of chicks in our Humboldt penguin enclosure. We currently have ten eggs being incubated by our penguin brood so are anticipating the arrival of more any day now.”

In the first few weeks of their lives the keepers will need to be extremely hands-on with the chicks to make sure the new parents and their offspring get off to the best possible start.

As first time parents some of the penguins will need help in rearing their young so the keepers will be on hand to give them some parenting tips and assist by hand feeding the chicks during the first few months of their lives.

Tim Morphew, Zoo Manager, added: “The arrival of chicks in our penguin enclosure demonstrates that we have successfully created a healthy breeding environment for our penguins that is as close as possible to their natural habitat. We are delighted that our first breeding season has been a success and we look forward to welcoming more little ones to our penguin crèche.”

Penguin Coast opened at Folly Farm last Easter. The two acre state-of-the-art development currently houses 24 Humboldt Penguins and contains a penguin nursery, beach area, 100msaltwater pool and play area with specialized plants and rocks.

To Hatch or Not To Hatch?

May 1, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a South American Humboldt Penguin chick failed to hatch as expected last week at the Brookfield Zoo. Milwaukee Zoo officials sent the egg to Brookfield as part of an effort to preserve the endangered species. But an egg sent from the Columbus Zoo hatched Feb. 20 and is a thriving young Humboldt Penguin.

The Milwaukee Zoo egg was the second of two laid by one of its Humboldt Penguins. These penguins, which are found only in South America, rarely are successful in raising two chicks at the same time, said Tim Snyder, curator of birds at the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo. The Milwaukee Zoo decided to send its second egg to Brookfield, keeping the first egg in Milwaukee’s collection. Its curators hoped a pair of foster parent penguins would successfully incubate the egg and raise the chick once it hatched. Snyder hoped for the best but knew there was a chance the chick would not survive. “Humboldt Penguins will occasionally lay two eggs,” said Snyder. But the second egg tends to be smaller and the chick “isn’t always as strong as the first egg.” The chick died without hatching.

Humboldt Penguin chick (right) shows off his gray juvenile plumage as he steps out of his nest.

Humboldt Penguin chick (right) shows off his gray juvenile plumage as he steps out of his nest.

On a brighter note, the penguin that hatched from the Columbus Zoo egg is a topic of joy for Snyder. “He’s growing like crazy,” said Snyder. The chick is almost as tall as his foster parents, Ceviche and Salsa, but still has his gray “juvenile plumage.” He’ll shed his gray feathers and begin to grow into his adult coat in a year. At Brookfield, the Humboldt Penguins live in cave-like habitats near a pool of water, where the penguins enjoy swimming. Ceviche and Salsa take turns staying inside their cave with the chick, while the other hangs out by the pool or goes for a swim. Although the chick has grown quite a bit, his parents are still protective. 

“He peeks his head out every once in a while right now,” Snyder said. Whenever he does this, his parents will push him back in as they would in the wild to keep him safe from animals such as large gulls. The chick will be able to play with the other Humboldt Penguins outside his nesting cave in about a month, Snyder said. Humboldt penguins begin to venture out on their own around 60 to 70 days after birth. 

Humboldt Penguins are found off the coast of Peru and Chile. There are two colonies at Brookfield Zoo, with several birds in each colony. The birds at Brookfield are “ambassadors” for the endangered population in Punta San Juan, Peru. The Chicago Zoological Society supports a conservation program there by raising money and awareness through the Brookfield Zoo colony  “It’s great if they are giving the penguins a safe place to grow and thrive and they can increase the population. I think that’s wonderful,” said Amanda Bekas, 34, a visitor from Rockport, Ill.

Overfishing has taken away much of the Humboldt Penguins’ food and it’s one of the factors endangering their population. Their nesting sites have also been taken from them. Humboldt penguins burrow into “guano,” or build up of bird droppings, to nest. But the guano has been harvested over the years to use as fertilizer, Snyder said.

Brookfield Zoo supports educational programs in South America to get people “excited about saving the penguins,” Snyder said.  “It’s important that places like this try to preserve their habitat and help,” said John Cortilet, a visitor from Frankfort, Ill. “We’d hate to lose the penguins. Right, Amanda?” PENGUIN_04

Penguin Named By 1st Graders

March 8, 2013

The Penguin Post has learned that a group of children in the first grade on a field trip in Syracuse N.Y. got to name a baby — a baby Humboldt penguin, that is.  There were many “oohs” and “aahs” when the Humboldt penguin chick was revealed at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.  The visiting first-graders decided to name her Magdelena.  The children chose the name from three options, each representing the penguin’s Latin-American origins.  Magdelena is the first Humboldt penguin chick to hatch at the upstate New York zoo this year. penguin-baby-5-11-10-9725jpg-79eb4045ed5d13c6_large

Zoo’s Baby Humboldt Makes Debut

April 17, 2010

At their first ever media debut this morning, the two penguin chicks at the Sedgwick County Zoo remained hidden behind Mom and Dad.

Occasionally, dark downy shadows could be seen moving behind the parent penguins in artificial burrows — but for the most part the tiny babies didn’t show their beaks.

The Humboldt penguin chicks are the first ever to be hatched at the Sedgwick County Zoo. They were hatched March 21 and March 23. Both are doing well, said Joe Barkowski, the zoo’s curator of birds.

Within a month, the two babies should be seen more frequently. In addition, two more penguin eggs are expected to be hatched by the end of April.

The zoo is celebrating World Penguin Day on April 24.

Nothing Says Easter Like a Penguin Chick!

April 3, 2010

Move over snow leopard cubs, the Penguin Post has learned that the Woodland Park Zoo has a new baby on the block. A Humboldt penguin chick hatched yesterday. The wee baby penguin (only 2.1 ounces!) is the first offspring for mother Dora and father PJ, both three years old. And there’s more where that came from: there’s another five eggs–across three penguin pair nests in the zoo’s Humboldt colony–at least three of which are believed to be fertile. Dora and PJ have another egg showing “pipping activity,” and it’s expected to hatch on Easter Sunday.

This will be the first set of penguin babies hatched since the zoo got their Humboldt penguins last year and started on their species survival plan to breed this endangered bird. The chicks and parents will need some time to bond in private, so it won’t be until early summer that you’ll be able to see these little guys in the cute feathery flesh. By that point, the chicks will have molted from the grayish brown, downy feathers they’re born with to completely gray feathers. It won’t be till next year that they’ll take on their adult look.