It has gone quiet in the yellow-eyed penguin colony for now with the breeding pairs busy incubating their eggs. Until we can post cute baby photos of their chicks that are due to start hatching in about 2 weeks, we will introduce you to some of our special penguins - special for different reasons.
This is Diana. She is special because she is a two-year old who has been through our rehab facility as chick (before fledging) and twice as a chick post-fledging (she couldn't work out how to catch a fish but she was clever enough to come home and get a top-up from us) and then a year later as a juvenile through the moult she got another wee top-up. So, lots of help but the ultimate reward came when she laid an egg the other day with her frazzled boy-friend (an experienced older male who had to defend her against the attention of at least 3 others males who also wanted to breed with her!!)
We were very happy with one egg but a few days later she laid a second egg! (as a two-year old it is unusual for yellow-eyed penguins to lay two eggs: one egg is the norm.)
So a toast to Diana, who has defied death at least 4 times in only 2 years of life and broken the 1-egg-laid-by-2-year-old-females rule. May it long last, may these and all future eggs be fertile, her chicks strong, her mate competent and faithful and may she live and breed to a ripe old age (rehab facility just up the hill if required!).