Magic and Sphen, two male sub-Antarctic Gentoo penguins, who live at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Sydney, Australia, were given an egg to foster after forming a bond prior to the 2018 breeding season. Since Gentoo penguins share feeding and parenting duties equally between mother and father, same gender parenting, for them, makes little difference from opposite gender parenting.
To try out the possibility of Magic and Sphen being able to adequately care for an egg, they were given a dummy egg to determine if they would indeed incubate it properly. They immediately went about the business of building a nest with ice pebbles, and after successfully proving their nurturing skills, were given a real egg, which they tended together, day and night.
On October 19th, Magic and Sphen’s diligent work paid off, when their baby sub-Antarctic Gentoo chick was born. It weighed in at 3.21 ounces (91 gm), and is still awaiting a name. The baby chick is being doted upon by its parents and staff at the aquarium. It is the first sub-Antarctic penguin born at the zoo, and hopefully for Magic and Sphen, will not be the last.
(Photo courtesy of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium)