Kicking off Our Friday Animal Updates!

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constantly changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re starting a weekly Animal Update post!

Every Friday we’ll be sharing animal news and updates with you through our blog, WATERlog! Below are this week’s Animal Updates–enjoy!

Gouldian Finch Chicks
Our aviculture staff is currently caring for two young gouldian finches that fell from their nest.

Although the young finches are off-exhibit being cared for by our staff, visitors can see adult gouldian finches in our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit.

Lionfish in DC
We have added six red lionfish to our Invasive Species exhibit at our Washington, DC, venue. These alien invaders were removed from our native reefs in the Florida Keys. Lionfish are often still imported from the Indo-Pacific in huge numbers, but we are doing our part to protect native reefs.

Red-Capped Cardinal
Two beautiful red-capped cardinals (one male and one female) have been introduced into our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. So far, the pair has been staying close to their introduction cage, but they can sometimes be seen sitting around the cecropia tree.

New Fish in Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit
We have added approximately 75 small reef fish to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit! These additions include: creole wrasse, tobaccofish, orange-spotted filefish, Spanish hogfish, bicolor damsels, barred hamlets, harlequin bass, highhats, French grunts, smallmouth grunts, indigo hamlets, a blue angel, and a French angel.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

3 Responses to “Kicking off Our Friday Animal Updates!”


  1. 1 Andrew in Philly March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Those finches are pretty – why are the baby’s mouths so unique and colorful?

  2. 2 National Aquarium March 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Good question, Andrew! The four jewel-like structures on the edge of the mouth are “reflection pearls.” These light-reflecting bodies aid the parent finch in directing food into the nestling’s gaping mouth. These black spots and bright colors in the baby’s mouth help to guide the parent in placing food in the correct location, similar to how runway lights guide a landing plane.

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