Name our new puffin chick!

On June 24, we welcomed the arrival of a puffin hatchling! This was just the second successful puffin chick to hatch at the National Aquarium. During breeding season, puffins lay only one egg in a clutch. If that egg is crushed or infertile, they may replace the egg, but generally puffins lay just one egg and raise one chick a year. puffin chick

The Atlantic puffin hatched after a 37-day incubation period. During that time, the parents–named Victor and Vixen–took turns incubating the egg by nestling it between their body and wing to keep it warm. Upon hatching, the chick weighed just 40 grams. For the first month, the parents cared for the chick in their burrow, while the Aquarium aviculturists monitored the chick’s growth and health carefully.

It is always best to keep young animals with their parents whenever possible. In this case, the parents did a great job helping the young chick grow and learn how to be a puffin! After one month, the chick weighed more than 350 grams and was eating 10-15 fish a day.

The puffin chick is now leaving the burrow, testing the water and finding fish on its own. It has lost all of its down feathers and is beginning to look like the adult puffins! Just last week, the Aquarium aviculturists sent a few of the chick’s feathers to a DNA testing lab. Results confirmed suspicions that the chick is a boy!

Now that we know the sex of the puffin, we’re asking the public to vote on his name. You can submit your idea for a name in the comments section below! You can also TXT “puffin” and your name suggestion to 30644 (message and data rates may apply). We will accept name submissions through this Sunday, August 22, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

We will collect the suggestions and launch an official voting period here on the blog in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your help in naming our new feathered friend!

27 Responses to “Name our new puffin chick!”

  1. 2 Melissa August 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Paco or Paxton 🙂

  2. 3 Liesel August 20, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I like Rufus the puffin. 🙂

  3. 5 Bob Barber August 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

    name is Magic Dragon

  4. 7 MiniTerp August 20, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Puff the Magic Hatchling!

  5. 8 Melanie H August 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Varick (meaning: honorable)

  6. 9 Angela Mitchell August 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Hmm, if Mommy and Daddy are Vixen and Victor, then perhaps a V name for baby? Vince, Valentino… Vader? 🙂

  7. 11 Kathy Fenn August 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Puff Ball is my vote.

  8. 13 Janene Kantorski August 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    How about Valentin, Latin for “strong health” – congratulations on the new baby chick – can’t wait to visit and see him!

  9. 14 Lois Rhoades August 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I think you should name the chick “Franklin” if its a male and “Francesca” if it’s a female.

  10. 15 Katie Roberts August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    If it’s a boy: Burt after the chimney sweeper in Mary Poppins
    If it’s a girl: Paloma (means “little dove”)

  11. 16 Ex Volunteer August 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    name it Austin Bryant

  12. 17 Danielle August 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Valentine, or Vance

  13. 18 Mike Sorrelle August 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Well, with parents named Victor and Vixen, one obvious choice for the little guy would be Vince or Vinny.

  14. 19 Emmie King August 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Vinny or Vincenzo to go with victor and vixen

  15. 21 Jon Nelson August 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm


  16. 23 Carey Rowsom August 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

    This little guys is awesome – congratulations! As his parents are both Icelandic (Ya, Ya!) – how about “Viking”?

  17. 24 Donna Rea August 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    How about Al or Sid? Courtesy of my sister-in-law (Nat’l Park Ranger in Seward) and my niece (her daughter).

  18. 25 National Aquarium August 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

    A big thanks to all who voted! Check back here tomorrow to see if your name was selected as one of the final 5 names up for vote!

  19. 27 Chris September 16, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Name it Black Feathers.

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