The chicks are siblings, but are being reared by two different pairs of adult penguins

By Rachel DeSantis
May 28, 2019 04:33 PM
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Bird is the word at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium!

The aquarium is celebrating the arrival of two Magellanic penguin chick siblings, who hatched earlier this month.

Both of the hatchlings were laid by the same pair of penguins, Chile and JR, who began nesting in March.

Chick 420, as one of the babies is now known, was born May 17, and immediately began bonding with its biological parents. 420 will remain in the nest to reared by Chile and JR, the aquarium said in a news release.

Chick 421, meanwhile, hatched on May 20, and has been handed off to a pair of foster parents named Howard and Georgia.

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

That penguin pair will rear 421 as their own, taking turns feeding it and keeping it warm just as Chile and JR will do for 420.

“Having a chick successfully hatch from its egg is just the first of many milestones that we look for in these first few weeks, but our team is cautiously optimistic,” said Lana Gonzalez, manager of penguins and sea otters. “We’ll continue to monitor both chicks closely over the next few weeks, looking for consistent weight gain and to see how the parents are doing with sharing their responsibilities.”

Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Full growth of the penguins is expected in two to three months, and Shedd staffers will monitor the chicks from afar over the next few weeks to track their growth, vocalizations, hydration levels and grooming.

Magellanic penguins are native to the Falkland Islands, a British territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

They’re currently listed as near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.