Blue debut: First Little Blue Penguin hatched at Birch Aquarium

new furry little blue penguin hatched at birch aquarium
Birch Aquarium at Scripps | Photo: Jordann Tomasek

The first Little Blue Penguin has hatched at The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego in La Jolla.

Born Jan 1, the penguin arrived in the aquarium’s Penguin Care and Conservation Center in the Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins exhibit, which opened July 2022.

The chick becomes the first Little Blue Penguin to hatch on the West Coast and will be hand-raised by the aquarium’s penguin care team and kept from public view for now.

Birch is “beyond excited to welcome this adorable new addition,” Assistant Curator of Birds Kayla Strate said in a statement. 

“Each breeding success makes a meaningful addition to the genetic diversity of Little Blue Penguin populations in the U.S.,” she said.

progression of newly hatched little blue penguin from being freshly hatched to a slightly bigger fuzzy baby at 850g

“Birch Aquarium has significantly expanded its breeding and conservation efforts over the years,” said Harry Helling, executive director. “The hatching of our first Little Blue Penguin chick is a major milestone for how today’s aquariums can make a difference in a changing planet.”

The chick – gender to be announced soon – is currently covered in fluffy down feathers, however these feathers are not waterproof. The next significant milestone will be the chick’s first molt in about three months, when it grows in a sleek set of waterproof feathers. At that time, the penguin will be ready to join the rest of the colony in the exhibit.

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Recommended Posts

Most Popular

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Most Popular

All News Categories

What's new in La Jolla?

Stay connected with regular updates on all things La Jolla, CA

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Get the latest local news stories, see upcoming events, top activities and restaurants, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.