Tue, May 27, 2008 - Page 14 News List

Penguin 'moms' take care of rejected baby bird 家有企鵝寶貝

Caitlin Hume holds the bird on her kitchen table after its last feeding of the day in Boston on May 15, 2008.


Like many moms of newborns, Caitlin Hume’s work doesn’t end when she gets home. There is the herring-and-krill formula to prepare, followed by a little peeping and playtime, then bed.

For the past few weeks, Hume and fellow New England Aquarium biologist Heather Urquhart have been mothering a 624-gram Little Blue Penguin that was rejected by its parents after a difficult hatching.

Each night, the two surrogate moms delicately pack the baby into a plastic cooler for the car ride home.

Once home, the still-unnamed chick, which turns 44 days old today, waits in the guest room until Hume prepares a baby formula of herring fillet and shrimp-like krill. The pungent meal, resembling a chocolate shake, is fed to the penguin four times a day.

After dinner, the penguin enjoys a long nap — not unlike a human baby.

Andrea Desjardins, a penguin biologist who works at the aquarium, said the penguin team noticed an egg was about a week overdue from its normal 38-day term. They found the chick inside was still developing, so they induced the chick to hatch by chipping away tiny bits of shell, allowing the penguin to eventually break through.

When the biologists tried to give the bird back to its parents to raise it normally, they rejected the baby.

Aquarium biologists said the baby could have died because it was not being kept warm or fed. That is when the surrogate moms stepped in.

“It’s a lot of work, although I guess it’s probably easier than having a real baby because I can leave him in my house when I’m done,” Hume said.

The baby penguin appears to be making good progress and likely will be introduced to other chicks later this month. (AP)



Lane: Where are you going?

Tina: I’m bored, so I’m going to the hat festival downtown.

Lane: The hat festival! That’s not a very good way to overcome boredom. If you ask me, the hat festival is for the birds.

Tina: Well if you think you got a better idea, what is it?

Lane: I’m going to the beach. Come along, I’ll wear a hat if you want.






is for the birds 無聊透頂的

If a person thinks something is for the birds, then he or she thinks it’s dumb and useless. For example, “You won’t see me hang gliding. That sort of thing is for the birds.”

如果某人覺得某事「is for the birds」,表示他或她覺得那件事既蠢又無聊。例如:「我不可能去玩滑翔翼,那類活動無聊死了」。











Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top