Tennessee Aquarium aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich gave an update on the two macaroni penguin chicks:
"The Tennessee Aquarium’s penguin keepers have been busy this season caring for a pair of macaroni chicks. These birds are active toddlers now. And as you can see in these pictures, they are getting to be quite an armload. Not only are they now as tall as their parents, these birds are starting to grow their adult feathers. If you look closely at their flippers, you can see the fuzzy down being replaced by the stiffer adult plumage. Aquarium aviculturists refer to these as the 'swim feathers.'
"Although they might appear similar, their behaviors are very different. One is quite feisty while the other is rather gentle. It will still be awhile before either juvenile is allowed to take “walk-abouts” in the exhibit with the other birds. All of their swim feathers must grow in before keepers allow supervised walks among the other penguins.
"It has been a special year at the Tennessee Aquarium - a double dose of cuteness for everyone. Aquarium guests will have to wait a bit longer for a penguin naming contest to begin. Aviculturists still don’t know if the Aquarium’s newest macaronis are males or females.
"Keepers may yet have their hands full. Several gentoo penguins may have chicks of their own soon."
- Photo2 by Tennessee Aquarium