BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The first three African penguin chicks of the breeding season have hatched at the Maryland Zoo.

The first chick hatched on October 20 to parents Portia and Beckham while the second chicks, offspring of Ascot and Dennis, hatched on October 22 and October 25.

Breeding season for the birds at the Penguin Coast exhibit at the zoo begins in mid-September and lasts until the end of February.

Penguin chicks typically hatch 38 to 42 days after the eggs are laid.

The Maryland Zoo has the largest colony of African penguins in North America, with more than 75 birds.

In September, Penguin Coast was awarded Top Honors in the Exhibit Award category from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) during the AZA Annual Conference.

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