Blackpool Zoo is delighted to announce the recent successful hatching of two Magellanic penguin chicks. The first of this species to hatch at the park, the new arrivals have yet to be sexed. This process is carried out later by DNA testing of feathers.
The penguins paired up for breeding and several nests were built in the recesses within the enclosure. Keepers provided nesting material of twigs and branches and it soon became clear that a pair were sitting on eggs. They hatched just over a month ago, and keepers are eagerly their emergence from the den.
Although the chicks are covered in soft, downy feathers when they first hatch, these are soon replaced by the waterproof “proper” feathers needed to keep them warm in the water. They are fed by their parents on regurgitated fish and “babysitting” is shared between the parents.
They youngsters will be introduced gradually to the water by their parents, but will adapt very quickly to their new routine.