All four chicks have been "hitting critical milestones," Shedd Aquarium reported

By Georgia Slater
June 17, 2020 01:46 PM
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

This Chicago aquarium will have you waddling with joy over the birth of four adorable penguin chicks.

Shedd Aquarium welcomed the fuzzy Magellanic penguins beginning with the first chicks on Monday, May 18, and the final newcomer hatching on Thursday, May 21, according to the aquarium's press release.

Once hatched, all four aquatic birds weighed in around 66-85 grams, and have since grown to 1200-2000 grams.

The tiny animals are being cared for by Shedd's animal care staff, who feed and incubate the chicks. The team conducts daily check-ups, monitors their growth, and makes sure that they receive the proper nutrients.

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

According to the release, the chicks are already "hitting critical milestones."

All four chicks are expected to be fully grown after two to three months but will continue to be monitored to track vocalizations, hydration levels, grooming, and additional milestones.

When first born, as seen in the photos, the chicks are a dark gray color with a pink underbelly.

They're so small, that one can fit into the palm of a hand.

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

While other penguins at the aquarium have been going on field trips to different habitats as the facility remains temporarily closed amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, these chicks are beginning the socialization process in their own area.

The aquarium's staff said the chicks are "getting more mobile and curious" and are learning to socialize with other chicks and their caretakers.

According to the aquarium, the birth of the four chicks marks the "most Magellanic penguins born and bred at the aquarium following the annual breeding season."

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The chicks have yet to be named and the sex of the penguins has not been identified.

According to the release, the animal care team will come up with names and determine the sex of the chicks before they make their exhibit debut.