Recently hatched chicks are pumping up the cute quotient at the Lowry Park Zoo.
This month's breakout stars are an African penguin and Demoiselle crane.
The endangered African penguin chick hatched June 2 to four-time parents Thumbelina and Flannigan, who have been paired for several years. Their most recent chick, Tapanga, hatched in May 2013, and is part of the zoo's rookery of more than a dozen penguins.
The newest chick will soon transition from care by its parents to zookeeper care to help with independence and learning to swim, before ultimately joining the colony. Once on exhibit, the chick will be easy to spot with its dark gray juvenile plumage which will be replaced by the characteristic black and white feathers following its first molt.
A demoiselle crane chick hatched June 4, the second Demoiselle hatchling in the past 12 months. The first chick, a male, was fostered by two Florida sandhill cranes. This fostering technique has been used in bird species when parent birds lack experience. The male was successfully reintroduced to its biological parents last fall. The newest chick is being parent reared and can be seen in the Sulawesi Aviary in the Asian Gardens habitat.