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National Aviary shows off chicks for Penguin Awareness Day

Jacob Tierney
| Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, 10:21 p.m.
Two African Penguin chicks hatched at the National Aviary last month.
Two African Penguin chicks hatched at the National Aviary last month.

Saturday is Penguin Awareness Day, and the National Aviary has debuted new footage of its month-old African Penguin chicks to celebrate.

The fuzzy brown infants haven't developed their distinctive black-and-white pattern yet, but they've grown a lot in the last month.

They've started calling out at mealtimes and eating larger fish, and they'll lose their downy feathers within a few days, according to the aviary.

The first of the baby penguins was born Dec. 16, the second Dec. 20. Proud parents Sidney and Bette have laid three previous sets of eggs at the aviary, in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

The public can see the chicks daily at the aviary's Penguin Chick Talks at 2 p.m., and through the aviary's Avian Care Center window.

Once the chicks are old enough they'll join the 20 adult penguins in the Penguin Point habitat.

African Penguins are endangered because of habitat loss, pollution, warming oceans and overfishing, according to the aviary. The National Aviary is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's African Penguin Species Survial Program.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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