National Aviary's newest Penguin has a Name


National Aviary’s newest Penguin has a Name: Maggie

April 26, 2016 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The results are in. The National Aviary’s newest penguin, a female, is named Maggie. More than 23,000 votes were cast over 3 ½ days. And the winning name – Maggie – won by a slim margin of just 544 votes!

The voting contest was held in honor of World Penguin Day April 25 as a way to highlight this critically endangered species and the National Aviary’s programs to help save it.

National Aviary staff had selected three potential names for the penguin: Maggie, Kenzie and Madison. The name Maggie won by a slim margin, garnering just 544 more votes than Kenzie, which was the runner up. In order, the results were:

Maggie 10,922
Kenzie 10,378
Madison 2,045

Since this penguin came to the National Aviary from Monterey Bay Aquarium, the name choices are a tribute to the place of her hatching.

This female joined the National Aviary’s colony – now at 20 penguins – a few weeks ago and is three years old. She is also joined by a male, and the two were selected to move to Pittsburgh because of their valuable genetic make-up. Together they make a valuable breeding pair, and according to Teri Grendzinski, supervisor of animal collections at the National Aviary, they are already showing the first signs of pair bonding.

“Our goal is to encourage these two to form a bond, and hopefully in the future we’ll see eggs from them,” she says. “The preening behaviors along with the frequency of close contact these two have shown are signs they are becoming a pair.”

African Penguins are a critically endangered species. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the National Aviary participates in an important international breeding program, called a Species Survival Plan®, aimed at keeping captive populations genetically diverse and sustainable. The National Aviary also supports and assists with programs to save wild African Penguins and is part of an AZA initiative called SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction.

In honor of World Penguin Day the National Aviary is also seeking donations for their programs aimed at saving African Penguins from extinction. Money raised will go to support the National Aviary’s care of African Penguins. Donate at or

Media Contact:
Robin Weber, Director of Marketing & Communications