You may remember hearing about our three African penguin chicks in June when they got weighed as part of their daily care.

Well these charming chicks are all grown up and ready to “fly” the nest!

Penguin Chicks Debut!

Three African penguin chicks made their exhibit debut at the New England Aquarium Thursday morning. Hatched just about two months ago and then weighing just a few fluffy ounces, these endangered, young penguins are now 50 times heavier weighing between 6 and 7 pounds each—the size of a full grown adult. These now juvenile birds do not sport the black and white plumage of their parents but rather a shiny, steel grey color that clearly identifies them as this or last year’s young.

African Penguin adult and chick
The African penguin chick (right) has blue-grey plumage with a darker face and a smaller beak. The adult (left) has black and white plumage and sports bold, delineated markings.

Two of the three chicks are siblings. The father of other chick is Roast Beef, the Aquarium’s most famous penguin who has made dozens of field trips to area schools and has been the star of past marketing campaigns


Meet our new chicks!

Penguin chicks are given names that reflect some aspect of their natural history.
Brenton II, African Penguin Chick

 

 

Brenton II

  • Hatched: 5/8/2019
  • Parents: Roast Beef (father) and Tressure II (mother)
  • Bracelet Color: White
  • Background: Brenton Island is one of several islands in Algoa Bay that is recognized as an IBA (important bird area) by BirdLife

 

Chrysanthi

  • Hatched: 5/14/2019
  • Parents: Mercury (father) and Hout (mother)
  • Bracelet Color: Yellow & Grey
  • Background: Named after the ship “MV Chrysanthi” that spilled oil in Algoa Bay in July 2019 due to overflow while refueling. Approximately 100 gallons of oil affected about 100 African penguins that were then admitted to SANCCOB. 
Chrysanthi, African Penguin Chick
Kaapse, African Penguin Chick

 

 

Kaapse

  • Hatched: 5/18/2019
  • Parents: Mercury (father) and Hout (mother)
  • Bracelet Color: Purple & Gray
  • Background: Kaapse means “Cape” in Afrikaans

Conservation Context

African penguins can be found in the wild in South Africa and Namibia. In the past two decades, their population has dropped dramatically due oil pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change.
The Aquarium’s dedicated and talented penguin biologists have raised hundreds of penguins over the years helping to populate many other aquariums and zoos around North America with these immensely popular animals. Maintaining a sustainable population is done under the supervision of a closely coordinated Species Survival Plan that insures genetic diversity.
 

These little ones will feel right at home in a few days. But for now, they’re still learning!

                                     

Come visit the aquarium and see if you can spot our three penguin chicks!