Work We Do: Maggie Seiler, Long Island Aquarium

Hi, my name is Maggie Seiler. I work at the Long Island Aquarium. I am the primary avian keeper here. 

Here at the aquarium, a typical day consists of coming in, checking on everything, making sure that everything is functioning the way it should, and that all the animals look good and healthy and are doing well.

The first feed of our penguins is typically at 10:15 a.m. I’ll prep food for them. I’ll go out and I’ll feed them and after feeding we clean up. Penguins require a lot of cleaning. We do this twice a day because they eat again at 2 p.m.

Obviously it’s very important as a keeper that I take care of each bird as an individual. Every penguin gets a vitamin supplement every day. We keep accurate records on how much each bird eats on a daily basis because loss of appetite is a pretty good indication of an ill bird. I know what everybody eats normally, so I can pick up on those subtle differences.

I also help run the Penguin Encounter. It is a program here that lets people have an up-close experience with the penguins and take a picture with them.

I’ve been working with them for a very long time. We got all our original birds back in 2004. They were put on display in 2005 and I’ve been working with them more or less since we got them.

My favorite part of working here is honestly the penguins. Anything and everything to do with the penguins. They’re amazing animals. They’re very personable and everybody’s different, everybody has a distinct personality. They’re also quirky and tons of fun to work with. I always tell people they’re like toddlers. They don’t sit still and their attention span is limited.

Coming to work and seeing them, as much cleaning and work as it is, it just brings a smile to your face and you can’t ask for anything more.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.