Rockhopper penguin chick joins

The Beakham Family has a new addition – welcome Codi! Image: Shanet Rutgers

Rockhopper penguin chick joins the Beakham family [photos]

The Beakham family at the Two Oceans Aquarium welcomed its latest rockhopper chick, Codi, who is now growing fast and furiously.

Rockhopper penguin chick joins

The Beakham Family has a new addition – welcome Codi! Image: Shanet Rutgers

A northern rockhopper penguin chick recently joined the rockhopper beach in the Two Oceans Aquarium’s Penguin Exhibit!

Meet Codi, the rockhopper penguin

According to a press release, the chick was welcomed into the world on 2 October 2021 and is growing fast and furiously. This is said to be the fourth chick hatched by parent birds Roxy and Grommet. They’ve had three other offspring named Clax (2014, female), Harold Custard (2016, female) and Chippy Goodwill (2018, male).

Codi is still covered with downy feathers, which are not waterproof. This helps Codi stay warm, but it will still be a while before Codi is able to swim. Image: Shanet Rutgers/Two Oceans Aquarium

The Beakham family

Together, they are affectionately known as the “Beakham family” of the resident rockhopper colony. The latest chick, named Codi, is the first one that Roxy and Grommet incubated and raised without any human assistance.

“Considering that both parent birds are fairly old in rockhopper terms (20+ years), this is certainly a feat to celebrate!” the aquarium writes.

Roxy and Grommet share parenting duties. Image: Shanet Rutgers/Two Oceans Aquarium

The new chick hatched at a weight of 62g and is currently weighing in at more than a kilogram. Being inquisitive and adventurous, and having a big personality, it has begun to explore the areas around the nest and has integrated with the other penguins on the beach.

Currently, the sex of the chick is not known as males and females are virtually indistinguishable, but DNA testing will be done at a later stage.

“I was lucky enough to witness the chick hatching which was such a special experience for me. It is a joy to see how well Roxy and Grommet are taking care of the chick and how it is growing,” said Rebecca Miller, a penguin volunteer at the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Codi has now entered the phase of exploring the environment around their nest. Image: Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium

About northern rockhopper penguins

Northern rockhopper penguins have been classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined dramatically over the last three decades with food source scarcity, human activity and climate change being the main driving factors attributed to this decline.

The rockhopper penguins at the Two Oceans Aquarium are some of the few animals in the aquarium that are not from South African waters.

These small, crested birds are naturally found in the south Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with their breeding range restricted to only seven islands within this area. The majority of northern rockhopper penguins can be found on Gough Island and the Tristan da Cunha group of islands, which are located thousands of kilometres south of South Africa.