The National Aviary got an early gift this holiday season, and it’s just a little bigger than a golf ball.
An African penguin chick hatched at the North Side institution Saturday, right on schedule, the aviary said.
It’s the first of two eggs to hatch for parents Sidney and Bette, who will care for the chick while still incubating the second egg, which is expected to hatch in the next few days.
The aviary will leave the chick in the nest for the first three weeks as it’s nourished first by an attached yolk sac and then partially digested fish provided by its parents.
After that, the aviary will move it – and its younger sibling – indoors to be cared for by experts until they’re old enough to join the colony in the Penguin Point exhibit, which is home to 20 African penguins.
Fans have been able to watch the incubation of the egg on a nest cam provided by the aviary.