Could Dingle Oceanworld See Their Very First Penguin Chicks Being Hatched?
It’s penguin breeding season in Dingle Oceanworld and some of the Gentoo penguin eggs have finally arrived!
In the picture above, Hugh, the 23 year old Gentoo male penguin looks after Candy’s eggs.
According to Dingle Oceanworld; ‘Hugh and Candy, (male aged 23 and female aged 8) are our oldest and most experienced pair having had chicks together before in France. They have 2 eggs and are proving to be very dedicated to the task of incubating, taking it in turns to look after the eggs and keep them warm.’
Proud parents Hugh and Candy!
As none of the birds have bred at Oceanworld before, and due to Kerry being a first time breeder and Hugh being 23, we can’t say for certain how successful they will be, and there is no guarantee the eggs will hatch. Male Gentoo penguins have been known to successfully breed up until the age of 30. We are being as careful as possible to minimise stress to the parents and make the breeding process as easy and calm as we can.
From Dingle Penguins
Below, Hugh trades places with Candy. ‘Candy is having a break and a stretch after spending a couple of hours on the nest!’ says Dingle Penguins.
Kerry (female) and Fletcher (male), aged 3 and 5 respectively have recently got together and have so far produced one egg. For Kerry, this is her first egg so we will have to wait and see as to how well she takes to the task of incubating, so far she’s looking like a natural.
From Dingle Penguins
Three year old Kerry seems to be a bit muddled up! In the image below she’s looking after a rock instead of an egg – ‘She loves her stone very much as you can see!’
Below, the penguin’s nests. ‘The left nest ’belongs’ to no one, altough on this photo Sneachta is lying in it (she sometimes does, but is not in a pair). The middle nest belongs to Fletcher and Kerry and the right nest belongs to TC and Bubbles’ says Dingle Penguins.
The Gentoo penguins have been in Dingle since 2011 and Oceanworld are hoping to see baby chicks by the end of August. Gentoo penguins commonly lay two eggs, once per year and their incubation period is 5-6 weeks.
You can see more of the Gentoo penguins looking after their eggs here.