CHICAGO (CBS) — Spring is here, which means love is in the air – at least for the penguins at the Shedd Aquarium.
The penguins at the Shedd Aquarium are beginning to prepare for mating season by building nests.
Spring marks the official time for nest building for the two species of penguins that reside at the Shedd Aquarium. Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins use sticks and rocks to build “love nests” before they pair up to begin mating season.
The aquarium’s animal care experts scatter twigs and stones throughout the penguin habitat, signalling the penguins that it is time to begin the weeks-long process of nest building. The ritual has been occurring since 1994 at the Shedd.
“The male penguins will pursue the perfect rock to attract a female mate, and the birds will build their nests in a variety of sizes,” according to the Shedd Aquarium.
Check out the nest building photos below!
Eggs are expected by the end of April into May. Guests may or may not be able to spot them, as the penguins typically sit on their nests to keep the eggs warm.
The Shedd’s breeding program has been successful with several new additions in recent years, including Rockhopper penguins Ruggles, in 2014, and Diego, in 2015.
Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin