Puffin chicks get names and exhibit new behaviors

Published September 14, 2011

Our little chicks are growing up and have been given names! In July, we announced the hatching of not one, but two Atlantic puffin chicks at the National Aquarium, Baltimore. The young puffins spent their first weeks in their burrows being cared for by their parents. By the end of August, the two chicks had begun exploring life outside the burrow and practicing swimming. At that time we asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to suggest names for the chicks. Our puffin keepers narrowed down the lists to their top five favorites for each chick, and then we put them to a vote onsite at the Aquarium and online on our Facebook page. (We received a total of 1,836 votes!) The winning names are Violet and Jasper! Violet hatched on June 28, 2011, weighing 40 grams. Her parents are Victor and Vixen. This is the puffin pair's third chick! Her big brother, Vinny, hatched last year and also received his name by popular vote. Jasper hatched on July 10, 2011, weighing 39.4 grams. He is Tex and Kingster's first chick. Over the past two weeks, the chicks have become much more brave. They spend very little time in the burrow and can be seen splashing in the water and scuttling across the land in our Sea Cliffs exhibit. The little girl is starting to take fish that are thrown to her. The chicks are starting to look a lot like their full-grown counterparts, except their bills are slightly smaller and still almost completely gray in color. Ask an Exhibit Guide if you need any help spotting them. Visit the National Aquarium, Baltimore soon for a chance to see Violet and Jasper before they're all grown up!
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