Baby gentoo penguins are ready for visitors at Ocean Park

Baby gentoo penguins are ready for visitors at Ocean Park

No need to go to the South Pole; you can see adorable gentoo chicks in Hong Kong

newspenguins.artgc8js9in.1ypo12287penguin.jpg

The chicks are about a month old, and while they're not really ready to swim, they're ready to have visitors.
Photo: Ocean Park

Visitors to Ocean Park over the Christmas weekend were able to catch the first glimpses of the 15 gentoo penguin chicks that hatched over the past two months at the South Pole Spectacular exhibit.

The breeding season for gentoo penguins begins in September when they start building nests, which can take some couples a whole week.

In October, they lay their eggs. Gentoo penguins usually lay two eggs each year. The parents then incubate the eggs, which hatch after around 36 days.

After the chicks are born, the parents take turns looking after them and feeding them. The adult birds eat the fish and then regurgitate it for their offspring, feeding the newly-born chicks a liquid diet, before giving them more solid food as they get older.

When they are around 60 days old, the chicks lose the downy feathers they are born with and grow a full coat of water-tight feathers. The parents have to protect them before that, or the chicks may get too cold in the water, or too heavy and drown.

Some chicks may not grow healthily if their parents are inexperienced and don't feed them properly.

Gentoo penguins are the third largest penguin in the world. They are also the fastest swimmers of the species.

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
March to the penguins

Comments

To post comments please
register or