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National Aviary awaits hatching of penguins, gives public live view

| Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, 12:48 p.m.
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  Two eggs were recently laid at the Aviary, which are expected to hatch in the next few days.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Two eggs were recently laid at the Aviary, which are expected to hatch in the next few days.
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  Two eggs were recently laid at the Aviary, which are expected to hatch in the next few days.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Two eggs were recently laid at the Aviary, which are expected to hatch in the next few days.
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, North Side
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Penguins gather at the fence of the penguin enclosure at the National Aviary, North Side

Pittsburghers will get a rare glimpse at baby penguins next week.

A high-resolution infrared penguin camera will be watching the nest where two penguin eggs are expected to hatch sometime between Monday and Thursday at the National Aviary in the North Side.

Both TribLive and the Aviary website are hosting live video of the new parents, Sidney and Bette, who welcomed two other sets of penguins hatched at the aviary in 2012 and 2013.

“Penguins are such beloved animals, and the outstanding camera clarity provides a thrilling look into the penguins' world,” aviary Managing Director Cheryl Tracy said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for this critically endangered species and how we care for them at the National Aviary.”

The National Aviary's Penguin Point exhibit is home to 17 African penguins. The species is listed as critically endangered with less than 20,000 remaining in the wild.

Aviary officials were confident Friday that “all will go well” with the new eggs. Once they hatch, the chicks will nest with their parents for the first three to four weeks before moving inside to be hand-reared by National Aviary staff, spokeswoman Robin Weber said. Ideally, both penguins will join the others as part of ongoing educational and interactive programs.

The eggs were laid Nov. 9 and 11. Harmony-based M&P Security Solutions LLC donated the camera and installation services.

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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