Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nesting News from Penguins' Rock

Penguin keepers at the Tennessee Aquarium are extra busy right now, carefully watching THREE pairs of penguins with eggs. On Saturday, Amy Graves discovered an egg in Bug and Big T's nest and this morning she learned Bug had laid her second egg. Bug and Big T are the first gentoo penguins to have an egg in Penguins' Rock, but they're not the only ones. An egg was discovered in Biscuit and Blue's nest yesterday. Graves observed a dent in this egg this morning. It's too early to tell if that indicates a non-viable egg. But Biscuit should lay a second egg within the next couple of days.

On the macaroni side, Paulie and Chaos continue to display strong parental instincts. They both maintain lengthy stays incubating their egg and defending their nest from other penguins that may get too close.

If you spend much time observing the birds right now, you'll notice many interesting behaviors. For example, it doesn't seem to bother Paulie and Chaos if a gentoo wanders past their nest. But if a macaroni ventures toward the nest, both parents go into an alert posture. That switches to a defensive posture if a macaroni crosses an invisible "personal space" line. This also seems to be the case with the gentoos. A wandering mac is no problem, but another gentoo will bring about an alert status.

Check in from time to time on the live webcam at: http://www.tnaqua.org/Animals/Penguins.asp

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