National Aquarium Announces Birth of Two Puffin Chicks


The National Aquarium has welcomed two new puffin chicks to its Sea Cliffs exhibit.

The new puffin chick, Ziti, whose name was inspired by the pasta, is the second chick to parents Virgo and Staypuft. The chick’s older sibling, Penne, was born last July. Ziti hatched on July 5 after an incubation period of 38 days.

Puffin parents Victor and Vixen welcomed their sixth chick, Valentine, on July 6 after an incubation period of 39 days. Valentine’s name comes from the family’s tradition of having names that begin with the letter “V”.

Ziti and Valentine are the eighth and ninth puffin chicks to successfully hatch in the National Aquarium’s Sea Cliffs exhibit since 2006. Atlantic puffins generally lay just one egg and raise one chick a year.

The two young puffins will remain in their burrows, which mimic the deep burrows that puffins typically use in the wild, for the next 40 days or more. During that time, their parents will care them. Afterward, the chicks will join the rest of the Aquarium’s Atlantic puffins in the Sea Cliffs exhibit.

Animals, Exhibits