Aviary now has its own Penguin named Sidney

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A second penguin named Sidney is vying for the media spotlight.

While Sidney Crosby has fans cheering during the hockey playoffs, a fuzzy baby bird made his media debut today and will make meet the public on Saturday at the National Aviary on the North Side.

This Sidney is an African penguin. He was hatched on Feb. 21 at the Erie Zoo and arrived in Pittsburgh about four weeks ago.

Though at 8-weeks-old he is still a baby, at 5 3/4 pounds and 15 inches tall he has already grown to his full size. This is a rare chance for bird lovers to see a young Penguin covered with dark blue-grey "fuzz" that is soft and silky like a kitten's fur.

Sidney's fuzz is actually comprised of many tiny "juvenile feathers", which are starting to shed. Within the week the fuzzy feathers will be gone, and Sidney will begin growing the signature black and white penguin tuxedo plumage.

The little penguin has, indeed, been named for the famous hockey player, said Erin Estell, a bird trainer at the Aviary. The Aviary's four adult penguins have made appearances at Penguin hockey games.

Visitors can meet Sidney Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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