A Lil' Penguin Gets a Bridge-Big Name

Meet Bixby, a fluffy denizen of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A BABY PENGUIN, as in a chick that just arrived, as in a wee fluffster that is only a few minutes old, will not weigh much. Nor will this infant seem extremely tall, or tall at all. They're little bundles of feathery love, in short, with an emphasis on "little"; tipping the scale at just a couple of pounds isn't actually "tipping the scale" at all. Which makes the newest name for a Monterey Bay Aquarium penguin chick exceedingly charming, and a tad unlikely, and as California-y as Golden State monikers come. Meet...

BIXBY, a tiny beak-rocker you can soon spy on a future visit to the Cannery Row aquatic destination. If your first thought is of Bixby Creek Bridge, which sits about 45 minutes south of Monterey Bay Aquarium, well, you know your legendary destinations. How did such a not-big tyke get a name that is synonymous to one of the biggest landmarks around? Public voting determined the baby bird's final handle. But Bixby won't be a baby forever. She is "... now behind the scenes until she learns to swim," says the aquarium, "... but you'll be able to see her waddling with our African penguin colony in a few months."

BIG AND SMALL: Cheers to you, dear Bixby, and to Bixby Creek Bridge, one of the planet's most celebrated spans, and to the neighborly vibe shared by Monterey and Big Sur. Why shouldn't a petite penguin be able to handle a handle that's as huge as an ocean-close bridge? It's a fitting tribute for an avian icon, the African penguin, that will forever captivate we bird-obsessed humans.

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