The Tennessee Aquarium's penguins were given their "magic rocks" for nesting this morning. And as soon as the delivery was complete, the birds began constructing nests. It turned out to be a rather noisy party as the macaronis began calling loudly in very excited courtship displays.
Here's how senior aviculturist Amy Graves described today's drama:
"Hercules has been an active boy all day long. He has had three girls in his nest at some point today, so I have no idea who he’s going to end up with. He started out with Little Debbie this morning. When we first put the rocks out they were calling and building. Then Little Debbie got chased away by Shamrock which is Hercules’ mate from last year. They were building and calling for most of the day. Then right around 1:30 this afternoon right as I was doing a penguin show from inside the exhibit, Shamrock got booted out of the nest by Sweet Pea. Shamrock ended up in the food bowl from the scuffle and Lori Beth Aldrich had to lift her out of the pile of fish. Sweet Pea has always been waiting in the shadows hoping for her chance with Hercules. So the macaronis are all up in the air right now. Give them a couple of days to see which birds settle down with each other. They seem to be going back to their mates from last year. Even though last year wasn’t a strong bonding season since they didn’t lay eggs, it might have been a strong enough bonding season to pull them back together now. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out. But it was a pretty good first day. A little bit crazy on the macaroni side, but a lot of fun to watch."
Stay tuned for more updates from Penguins' Rock.