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Endangered African Penguin Chicks Expected To Hatch This Month

National Aviary
African Penguin parents Bette and Sidney.

The National Aviary has launched a new nest cam trained on two African penguin eggs expected to hatch later this month.

Parents Sidney and Bette are sharing incubating duties. This is the pair's fourth set of eggs; they also produced clutches in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Credit National Aviary
Bette, the African Penguin, is incubating her fourth catch of eggs.

The species, also called the "jackass" penguin for it's donkey-like braying noise, is native to Namibia and South Africa, according to the aviary. They weigh between 6 and 10 pounds and stand roughly 18 inches tall.

The eggs will take about 38 days to hatch, and both parents will share in the duties of incubating and feeding the chicks. When they’re about 3 weeks old, the chicks will join the aviary’s colony of 20 African penguins.

People can keep track of the eggs’ progress by watching a nest cam.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reports that less than 25,000 pairs of these birds remain in the wild.

The National Aviary's breeding program is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan. 

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.
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