Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Today, Graves found another surprise. "Peep" has laid her first egg. So we should see her second egg within a few days. Like the other gentoo eggs, we won't know for awhile whether or not Peep's egg is viable.
So here is where we stand today:
Macaroni - "Paulie" & "Chaos" - one baby
Gentoo - "Big T" & "Bug" - two eggs
"Blue" & "Biscuit" - one egg
"Poncho" & "Peep" - one egg
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Visitors need to spend a little time observing the nesting penguins if they would like to get a glimpse of their eggs. They are doing a good job of keeping the eggs warm and covered, so it's a bit difficult to get a good look. Persistence paid off yesterday when penguin intern Hayley Grinder captured this video of Big T on the nest. While Bug was off getting something to eat, Big T was handling the incubating duties. It appears as though he was adjusting his posture to comfortably keep the eggs warm beneath his belly. Even from the overhead view in the backup area it is sometimes difficult to see the eggs. The mate not currently on the nest often stands nearby with wings outstretched to block the view. Maybe they are getting wise to the "penguin paparazzi."
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Here's some video of Bug and Big T and their two eggs. If you look closely, you'll see both eggs in this clip. Senior aviculturist Amy Graves says they seem to be caring for their eggs today, however yesterday she observed Bug not doing a great job keeping the egg covered. These two are a very young pair.
Meanwhile, the dented egg that was in Biscuit and Blue's nest has been crushed by one of the parents. Biscuit laid her second egg yesterday, so the total egg count in Penguins' Rock remains the same at four.
Macaronis Paulie and Chaos - one egg
Gentoos Bug and Big T - two eggs
Gentoos Biscuit and Blue - one egg
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"Just wanted to write a few words about our recent visit to the Tennessee Aquarium. We have been members for years now and have enjoyed bringing guests from all around the local area and country to see this great attraction. This time it was two friends (soon to be family) from Ottawa, Canada. The Aquarium was the first thing they had put on their list when we asked what they wanted to do during their visit. They were thrilled with the Aquarium (both River Journey and Ocean Journey). We actually spent 5+ hours there because we couldn't get enough, and may have been the last guests to leave. The day we visited, another pair of penguins laid an egg, which was a great surprise. Speaking of penguins, I had personally wanted to visit Chaos, who had recently laid an egg. Chaos was the unfortunate recipient of the name I submitted in last year's naming contest. I wanted to express my apologies to the poor bird-- I really didn't think anyone would choose "Chaos"-- but ironically it seemed to have boosted her spirits enough to produce the first egg of the new penguin exhibit-- we were very excited to see the egg and the proud parents-to-be. Both aquariums offered new surprises for us all, as they always do-- from the Jellies: Living Art to the big blue Macaws mimicking our movements for at least 10 minutes (which was hilarious). Thank you for a continued great attraction. We'll be keeping our eyes open for the baby penguins! Stephen and Karen"
While we don't want to count penguins before they hatch, we do encourage everyone to check out the behavior of these amazing birds right now. Not only is the nesting activity highly interesting, but you may get lucky to see Nipper or one of the other birds putting on a splashy, high-speed swimming demonstration. Yesterday afternoon everyone in the gallery was cheering his athletic ability.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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
Friday, June 5, 2009
The Tennessee Aquarium will participate in a unique way by hosting "The Bend Unplugged." These intimate one-hour concerts will be heavy on storytelling, history and give the audience opportunities to interact with the performers. So hit the Riverbend venue a little early, set up your chairs and then come inside for one of the coolest new events at Riverbend - "The Bend Unplugged."
The Music of Coal – Sunday, June 7th at 5:00PM - The Tennessee Aquarium Auditorium in River Journey - Cost: $5.00
The Music of Coal will be the first ‘Bend Unplugged at the Tennessee Aquarium's River Journey Auditorium at 5:00pm on Sunday, June 7th. This event features a group of mountain musicians from the Wheeling, West Virginia area, who will also be playing at the Riverbend Festival at 6:30PM on the Unum Stage later in the evening. “The Music of Coal" came from a book of the same name published a few years ago by Jack Wright, Paul Kuczko and Lonesome Records and Publishing that tells the story with words, pictures and pictures of American coalminers and how they turned their hard work and misery into stories of human success and dignity.
The books will be available during the performance at the Tennessee Aquarium Auditorium, and also throughout the month of June at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library. Visitors to the Library will also be able to view a massive, one-of-a-kind traveling photographic exhibit from the Wheeling Jesuit University's Appalachian Institute sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield during the month of June.
Be sure to visit the Hunter Museum to view a series of black and white photographs by Lewis Hine from June 1 to January 31st. Hine, an American sociologist and photographer, was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority to document the construction of Norris Dam. Building the dam provided jobs for thousands of people during the Depression, and it also brought electricity to a region where previously only 10 percent of the population had power. The images are striking and will leave everyone with a deeper appreciation for how these people lived and how hard they worked.
The Persuasions – Thursday, June 11th at 5:00PM – Tennessee Aquarium Auditorium – Cost $5.00
America’s premier doo-wop band, The Persuasions will be the second and final ‘Bend Unplugged' act presented by the Chattanooga's African-American Museum. They will take the stage at the Tennessee Aquarium Auditorium at 5:00PM on Thursday, June 11th. They shared the stage with musical superstars of the last four decades. From Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles to the Grateful Dead, U2 and even Frank Zappa.
They will be playing a full set at the Riverbend Festival on the Unum Stage on Thursday, June 11th night from 9:30 to 11pm, but "The 'Bend Unplugged" will allow the participants to truly interact with these living legends.
Learn more here: http://www.tnaqua.org/planYourVisit_riverbend.aspx
We are also honored to have a group of U.S. Navy divers at the Tennessee Aquarium on Monday, June 8th. These divers are from the U.S. Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU-2). MDSU-2 based at Little Creek, VA is on-call to assist with rescue and recovery to the Atlantic Fleet. They responded to the I-35W bridge collapse tragedy near Minneapolis, MN in 2007, the recovery of TWA Flight 800, and the recovery of the space shuttles Columbia and Challenger. They were also a key participant in the recovery of the USS Monitor, an Ironclad from the Civil War and the former Soviet Submarine K-77.
Here are some shots of U.S. Navy Divers visiting the Tennessee Aquarium in 2007. Those divers were Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians. As you can see, visitors young and old enjoyed meeting the group and checking out the gear they had on display. Especially one young man who couldn't wait to show the Navy personnel his diver.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Although not as humorous, here's another visitor who was taken aback by the city and our friendly residents:
"My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting downtown Chattanooga. Our plan was to have lunch and visit the aquarium. I had not been to Chattanooga in at least 40 years. I was so impressed! Friendly and helpful people at the info desk told us about the wonderful elec. shuttle system. We rode it to the library, where I was able to print out our airline boarding passes for the next day. The shuttle driver gave us directions, was friendly and polite. A couple of residents who work downtown spoke with us and one of them thanked us for visiting your city! We had a delicious lunch at the Big River Grille while sitting on the terrace...PERFECT weather on Thursday. Then a great 3 hours at the aquarium. Everyone was so helpful, polite, truly showing southern friendliness. We will be back before another 40 years! Thank you!" - Linda
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Temperatures were approaching 90 degrees yesterday, but there was still a pleasant breeze in the Tennessee River Gorge. The warm air rises quickly above the water in between the mountain slopes producing excellent thermals for soaring birds. The 3:30 pm cruise offered some pretty spectacular views of several hawk species gliding effortlessly above the River Gorge Explorer. A kettle of vultures, numbering nearly thirty birds, were seen spiraling upward in a tight circle directly overhead. And everyone was able to observe a male osprey floating on air, carefully scanning the water below for a meal. While we didn't get to watch him dive in for a fish, you could see him through binoculars moving his head right and left in search of a snack. The female osprey was diligently tending to her fluffy-feathered chick. It is now nearly half as large as the parents.
Today I received this nice note from Carol:
"A small group of us took the 12:30 cruise this past Friday, 5/29. This was my second time but it was more enjoyable this time due to the tour guide. He was so knowledgeable about everything - the river, the wildlife, the civil war, Chattanooga. He is definitely in the right job. He also had a great sense of humor and just made the trip very nice. You could tell he loves his job. I could have listened to him for hours and hours. Several people in my group made the same comments about him.
Just wanted to give credit to such a great employee.
Thanks!" - Carol, Chattanooga
Thanks for your nice note! Others might consider cruisin' in style before a night of music downtown: Cruise around Moccasin Bend before attending Riverbend (June 5-7, 9-13) Enjoy a thrilling ride aboard the River Gorge Explorer before you enjoy the entertainment at Riverbend. During the festival, passengers on the Explorer's 3:30 pm excursion get a Riverbend wrist band for just $5. Cruise in style aboard the southeast's only high-speed catamaran, then arrive in style like the main stage artists.