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'Love on the Rocks' at Aquarium of Niagara

by jmaloni

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Thu, Jan 23rd 2014 03:00 pm

They're not related to the colorful lovebirds of Africa, but the Aquarium of Niagara's Humboldt penguins could be called "lovebirds." So as Valentine's Day approaches, the nine penguins will be featured in a special program from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

This penguin program is dedicated to the Peruvian birds that, like most folks, spend a lot of time and energy on their relationships. And since many people love penguins, Aquarium of Niagara visitors might be inspired by the love life of these flightless birds. When it comes to romance, there are a lot of similarities to humans.

There's the cutest couple, the odd couple, the May/September couple and the newly divorced and re-partnered couples. Penguins are typically monogamist, but there are exceptions. Learn about one male from the collection, Peeker, who had multiple mates. He is a penguin playboy.

As the ultimate tribute to Valentine's Day, four paired penguins and one "single lady" have created more than 25 original paintings, an activity conducted by the aquarists to enrich the lives of the animals in their care. With a little help from their keepers, the penguins are given canvases and non-toxic paints to create their works of art. These mini paintings will be for sale after the penguin romance talk.

The presentation will include how to properly ID all of the birds at the Aquarium of Niagara, learn their mating courtships and displays and why a pebble is the best Valentine's Day gift you could receive this year. Light refreshments, Valentine-and-penguin-themed, of course, will be served.

Seating is limited and reservations should be made. Admission is $10; $15 for any twosome. Guests must be 18 and over with a valid photo ID. Reservations can be made at 716-285-3575, ext. 206. All proceeds benefit the Aquarium of Niagara and its creatures.

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