Endangered African Penguin Chicks receive Veterinary Checkup, Make their Public Debut at National Aviary



Robin Weber, National Aviary Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations

412-258-9435 / robin.weber@aviary.org


The fluffy grey chicks are now visible through the Avian Care Center window, giving the public the chance to see them up close and watch them grow

January 12, 2018 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The National Aviary today introduced a pair of African Penguin siblings to the public. National Aviary visitors can now see the chicks up-close through a viewing window into the Avian Care Center. The debut followed an exam by National Aviary Director of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Pilar Fish, who pronounced the fluffy chicks to be healthy and thriving. The first chick which hatched on December 16 weighed in at 23 ounces and the second chick which hatched on December 20 weighed 22 ounces, and both are growing fast.

The downy grey chicks were first introduced to the world via a live streaming Penguin Nest Cam that recorded their hatching and early care by their parents, Bette and Sidney.  The chicks are now snug in their climate-controlled space in the Avian Care Center window, where they are being carefully monitored by National Aviary staff.  Once the chicks are old enough, they will be moved back into Penguin Point to rejoin the rest of the African Penguin colony.

National Aviary experts will present a daily Penguin Chick Talk in front of the Avian Care Center window at 2 pm beginning January 12, during which visitors will learn about the chicks and their progress, and about African Penguins, which are endangered in the wild. 

The National Aviary’s Penguin Point habitat is home to 20 adult African Penguins. African Penguins are listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, with less than 25,000 pairs remaining the wild.  The National Aviary participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA)’s Species Survival Program® (SSP) which is designed to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically stable population for the long-term future.

For photos,  updates and exclusive content on the penguin chicks as they grow,  follow the National Aviary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube , and join the conversation by using #penguinchickPGH.


About the National Aviary

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. For admission rates and more information visit www.aviary.org.