The Real Chicks of Central Park

Central Park Zoo

The Chicks Behind the Chicks

The Chicks Behind the Chicks

While raising the penguin chicks, Nora Beirne could tell you stories about every one of them, from who gets along best to how much Pink Dot had eaten last night. A one-year veteran of the Central Park Zoo keeper staff, this was her first time raising penguin chicks. Clearly, she's a natural—in the span of two months, she learned to impersonate their pipping call ("our best replica of their language"), how to adapt to their changing needs as they grew, and to tell all eight chicks apart, even without their colored ID dots.

Ronnie Thomas, Penguin Chick Intern

For Ronnie Thomas, wildlife is a family affair. The daughter of the Bronx Zoo's longtime curator Pat Thomas, she practically grew at the zoo, and naturally, knew exactly what she wanted to do when she graduated from college. With her newly minted animal behavior degree, Ronnie's pretty psyched to have landed here in the Central Park Zoo's little slice of Antarctica. Her primary responsibilities in penguin care duty include taking weights, preparing fish, and keeping the record books up to date.

Chick Lit

Life in the Colony

Life in the Colony

by The Chicks Behind the Chicks

It's amazing how fast they grow when they're young. In the beginning, even just coming back to work after a weekend, they would look huge to me. Thinking about birth in the Antarctic, you understand why they grow so quickly, because they have to be ready to go into the water and hunt as soon as that brief polar summer ends.

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Chick Flick

Life in the Nursery

Life in the Nursery

by The Chicks Behind the Chicks

Raising baby penguins may sound like fun and games, but it's no easy job. Things can get messy, the nursery is freezing cold, and eight chicks eat an awful lot of fish each day. (Never mind the job of cutting up all those herring into bite-sized pieces!)

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Chick Lit

Raising Chicks

Raising Chicks

by The Chicks Behind the Chicks

If you told me a year ago I'd be raising eight penguin chicks, I absolutely wouldn't believe it. This summer we had four gentoos and four chinstraps hatch at the Central Park Zoo's Polar Circle. It's been an amazing experience watching them grow.

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