Back-to-school shopping is a longtime August tradition, one that involves the purchasing of fresh togs, the sort of clothes that'll see a young student into the fall months and beyond.
WATCH: Penguin Chick Cam
Something not too dissimilar has been happening at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Nope, the sharks aren't browsing for new shirts, nor are the jellies looking for fashionable jumpers. But a pair of baby chicks has been awaiting the growth of watertight feathers, the kind of feathers that replace the ultra-soft down they possess at birth.
Those watertight feathers have arrived for the as-of-yet unnamed pair, and they're ready to head to school — er, rather, out onto the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, the splashy, swimmy home to the aquatic institution's Magellenic Penguin colony.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The feathery duo will make their anticipated debut on Thursday, Aug. 18.
As for their backstory? Both were born in May, though one chick arrived a week before the other (and to a different set of parents). The chick belonging to Kate and Avery said hello on May 18, while the bambino birthed by Patsy — dad is Robbie — got here on May 25.
"The parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks after they hatch," reveals an aquarium representative. "It takes between 38 and 43 days of incubation before a Magellenic Penguin egg will hatch."
The downy babies moved into the aquarium's nursery in late June, and into the spotlight, thanks to a webcam trained on their every cute move, or at least a lot of them.
Now those cute moves will be presented in person, or in penguin, rather, before a ready-to-coo public. A public, by the by, that could get a crack at naming one of the chicks via the aquarium's Adopt an Animal program.
Be sure to stop by after Aug. 18 to admire the chicks' recently acquired watertight feathers, their waddling ways, and their first days frolicking with the other penguins who call the habitat home.
It isn't back to school time for these sweet birds, of course. But getting a new outfit, or, rather, trading their down for swim-ready feathers, is pretty exciting for a penguin, whether it is August or any other month of the year.