Gay penguin couple at Sydney Aquarium welcome foster chick to their fabulous nest

Written by on October 25, 2018 in Critter Love - No comments

Baby makes three for Sydney’s most famous same-sex love birds.

Earlier this month we told you about Sphen and Magic, a pair of male Gentoo penguins at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium who were totally in love, and given the chance to foster a donor egg together.

Their chick arrived Oct. 19 at 5:45 p.m. and waddled in at 91 grams. But it was only announced today.

The dynamic duo, known as “Sphengic,” fostered the egg after another couple laid two during this breeding season.

And they quickly took to the jobs of dad.

“Baby Sphengic has already stolen our hearts! We love watching the proud parents doting and taking turns caring for their baby chick,” Tish Hannan, the aquarium’s penguin department supervisor, said in a statement. “With that said, the first 20 days of a penguin chick’s life are the most vulnerable so it is extra important the chick is very happy, healthy and well fed by his parents.”

So very squee.

The chick will stay with its dads for the first 5 to 6 weeks of life.

And they will feed it up to 10 times a day. And so far, they are right on schedule.

Sphen and Magic tested the waters of fatherhood with a dummy egg. They took to the real thing. Even feathering their nest with pebbles. Photo: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium/Facebook

Gentoo parents keep their eggs warm on pebble nesting rings.

These two have dutifully swapped duties while they waited for the egg to hatch.

While one works hard to incubate the egg; the other patrols the perimeter of the nest to keep away thieves or nosey neighbours.

“As Gentoo penguins usually only have enough resources to successfully raise one of their two eggs, the ‘back-up’ chick often dies,” the facility explained. “Fostering the biological couple’s egg to Sphen and Magic was the best outcome for all penguin couples and the future of their eggs.”

They also found time to frolic.

Way to go, guys.

“We can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Baby Sphengic like they did with our amazing same-sex couple, Sphen and Magic,” Hannan added.

My two dads, indeed.


Photos Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Liked it? Take a second to support Critter Files on Patreon!

About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

Leave a Comment