Home for the Holidays: Five Penguins Join Birch Aquarium Colony 


Five penguins made their little blue debut at Birch Aquarium today. 

blue penguins birch aquarium

La Jolla, CA (Dec. 13, 2023) — Just in time for the holidays, five new penguins made their little blue debut at Birch Aquarium today. Two of the penguins, Nugget and Meatloaf, arrived from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden while the other three ventured from Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey.

“These new penguins are such an important addition to Birch Aquarium, especially the females!” said Kayla Strate, Birch Aquarium’s Assistant Curator of Birds.

This move is part of a collaborative breeding program to increase genetic diversity and ensure overall colony health within accredited zoos and aquariums. The aquarium hopes these matchmaking efforts will bring a new generation of little blues in the future.

“Cooperative breeding programs are so important because, should wild populations ever come under imminent threat, we have the knowledge and tools to step in and make a difference,” continued Strate.

blue penguins birch aquarium
Birch Aquarium at Scripps | Photo: Jordann Tomasek

These new arrivals can be identified by their colorful wing bands – Nugget and Meatloaf are sporting pink/white and purple/red bands, respectively, and the others (which will be named in the future) have yellow/blue, yellow/yellow and purple/blue bands.

Guests can find these penguins waddling about their habitat in Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins. The best time to view them is during Penguin Feedings which are offered daily at 10 a.m. or during aquarium Penguin 101 Talks at 3 p.m. Double check the Daily Schedule on the aquarium’s website for a complete schedule.

General Admission tickets are $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3-17. Advanced reservations are required. Annual memberships are also available. Visit aquarium.ucsd.edu for more information or to purchase tickets.


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