Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Penguin pairs are incubating eggs

Posted by: Shawn Pedersen, Animal Collection Manager

Penguin fans—we’ve got some exciting news for you! Over the last few weeks, three pairs of Humboldt penguins have been busy incubating two eggs each in the burrows we’ve constructed for them in their new exhibit.

This is great progress for our birds and shows us they are comfortable in the exhibit we’ve built for them. These are the first eggs at Woodland Park Zoo to come from this flock of penguins that debuted last May, and we’ve been tracking the development of the eggs around every two weeks with a process called candling. With candling, you use a high powered and focused light for just a few quick seconds to see if the egg is fertile, alive and developing as it should be. You can see some photos of the process below:

Depending on how far along in the incubation process the egg is, you should be able to see veins after about a week’s time, and should be able to see movement in the egg about half way through the incubation process.

So far, we have candled the two eggs from the first pair on days 14 and 28 of incubation, and progress continues to look good. Incubation is approximately 41 days for this species.

If all goes well, the chicks may start hatching soon, and we’ll share updates with you as they develop!

Photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

2 comments:

  1. Yea! As a penguin zoo parent, I am very excited!

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  2. I am currently doing an experiment where I am incubating two chicken eggs in my bra... I have candled them and they seem to be developing nicely. All going well, they should hatch a week from thursday! I feel like I'm gestating :D

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