Four Birds Join AAQ African Penguin Team

Meet our Newest Chicks!

Adventure Aquarium welcomed four new hatchlings this winter and the hype around these Birds is pretty crazy already.


Please give a warm welcome to the newest additions to the African penguin team, which also happens to be the largest colony in Adventure Aquarium history at 38 birds!


Hello, Taco


Taco, the eldest chick, hatched on November 20, 2017, and received her name from a fun combo of her parents’ names, Taki and Tatu.  She is just days from officially graduating from chick to juvenile stage, meaning she’s lost most of her fluffy down feathers for silvery waterproof plumage.  Taco has even had a few swimming lessons and has taken to water nicely.  At roughly 2.5 ounces, she was also one of the largest chicks to hatch at Adventure Aquarium.

Meet Shelley


Little miss Shelley is the daughter of Minnie and Kamikaze.  She hatched on December 4, 2017 and, unlike Taco, she was one of the smallest chicks ever to hatch at Adventure aquarium, weighing just 1.6 ounces.  Shelley was named in honor of a dear friend and colleague of Adventure Aquarium who recently passed away.

Say hello to Carson and Nick


And finally, Carson and Nick, brother penguins who hatched on December 10 and 13, respectively, to parents Diane and Jack, were named after the Super Bowl Champion Eagles’ two star quarterbacks.

“During our recent breeding seasons, we’ve been fortunate to have many chicks hatch but they were all females,” said Michele Pagel, Curator for Birds and Mammals at Adventure Aquarium.  “When these two hatched, we found out their genders were male after a DNA test.  Once the Eagles were Super Bowl bound we knew we had to honor the team in some way and this seemed like a perfect opportunity given that they’re brothers.”

Carson, who weighed 2.3 ounces at hatching, is a very timid penguin chick and is learning his way around. Nick, who weighed 1.98 ounces when he hatched, is a bit bolder than his brother and is very curious about the world around him.

The four chicks made their official debut at the annual What’s New at AAQ event earlier this week.  For now, they will remain behind the scenes to allow them time to grow larger in size as well as develop their waterproof plumage before eventually being introduced to the colony in the Penguin Island exhibit, which is set to reopen this spring.

Penguin Park: Opening Spring 2018


Speaking of reopening in the Spring…Penguin Park, a newly reimagined outdoor experience, will be open for guests visiting Zone B in just a few weeks.  Penguin Island, home to the largest African penguin colony in Adventure Aquarium history, will welcome the birds back on exhibit, which will feature a shade structure and rocky beach areas mimicking the environment the species would encounter in the wild.


Explorer’s Cove, an outdoor softplay area for younger guests to enjoy, will feature seven nautical-themed structures and also feature a shade structure for those particularly sunny days.  Families will also be able to relax and enjoy snack or lunch in a new outdoor seating space surrounded by manicured landscaping.




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