Just in time for the holidays, five new penguins made their little blue debut at Birch Aquarium today. Two of the penguins, Nugget and Meatloaf, arrived from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden while the other three ventured from Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey.
“These new penguins are such an important addition to Birch Aquarium, especially the females!” said Kayla Strate, Birch Aquarium’s Assistant Curator of Birds. This move is part of a collaborative breeding program to increase genetic diversity and ensure overall colony health within accredited zoos and aquariums. The aquarium hopes these matchmaking efforts will bring a new generation of little blues in the future.
“Cooperative breeding programs are so important because, should wild populations ever come under imminent threat, we have the knowledge and tools to step in and make a difference,” continued Strate.
These new arrivals can be identified by their colorful wing bands – Nugget and Meatloaf are sporting pink/white and purple/red bands, respectively, and the others (which will be named in the future) have yellow/blue, yellow/yellow and purple/blue bands.
Guests can find these penguins waddling about their habitat in Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins. The aquarium also offers daily penguin talks and feedings where guests can discover what makes these seabirds so special. The full schedule can be found on the aquarium’s website.