April is a great month in San Antonio, Texas. Spring is in the air, the temperatures aren’t boiling yet, and the promise of a fun-filled summer lies ahead. But what Aviculture team members at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Penguin Encounter are most excited about is the abundance of the biggest babies around – King Penguin chicks! While most Penguin species lay two eggs, King Penguins only lay one. They carefully balance their egg on the top of their feet, and completely cover it with a protective fold of feathered skin known as a “brood pouch.” SeaWorld San Antonio’s king Penguins start laying their single egg in late December, and as they take approximately 55 days to hatch, the first chicks typically begin hatching in early March. The newly hatched chicks remain in the brood pouch as long as they fit, but quickly outgrow it and instead stand huddled against their parents.
SeaWorld San Antonio’s king chicks will likely be large enough to be easily seen by mid to late April. They’ll spend the entire summer decked out in a full coat of brown, fluffy chick down, even when they are as large as their parents!