Being a parent can be very messy. This yellow-eyed penguin male got his share from his chick while looking after it. Not to worry, it will come off with the next trip to sea.
Slowly slowly the chicks are starting to grow big enough to be seen by us comfortably. Unfortunately we have already lost four of them - one definitely to fighting (autopsy revealed a punctured skull), and others have disappeared. We are checking them every other day - to balance watching over them and disturbing them too often - and with every day they grow. However many of them are still not big enough to be considered 'safe': that happens at about 3 weeks old.
We have been asked for an update on the family in Jacob's house: the chick is still really tiny and we have not been able to take photos of it. Please be patient, these things take time and we do our best and will keep posts coming as they become available.
The yellow-eyed penguin chicks are growing every day and now we can sometimes see them poking out from underneath their parent's chest. Almost all chicks have hatched now, only about half a dozen to go. Fingers crossed that all goes well and the chicks have a high survival!
A kind lady in America has sponsored this yellow-eyed penguin box with a family on behalf of Jacob Thompson, a 9 year old boy with cancer. He is a big penguin lover and hopefully will get some joy from this kind early Christmas gift. The penguin pair are expecting their chicks any day and we will be posting regular updates about this special family. Here is a link to the article about Jacob: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/11/03/this-9-year-old-may-not-live-until-christmas-so-strangers-are-sending-him-an-early-holiday/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.bad502b02759
Our Yellow-eyed penguin parents have been busy over the last 6 weeks incubating their eggs and it is now time to meet the new chicks. We have 14 so far in each colony, so a total of 28 with quite a few more to go. There is a higher proportion of eggs that won't hatch this year because we have a lot of young females breeding for the first time. They usually have a lower average fertility probably due to lack of experience. So far so good, none of the older chicks have so far shown signs of the dreaded Diphtheria.
And to conclude our feed-back on sponsored penguins and boxes, here is Mandy - a very experienced lady on her nest. She has featured recently because she was the first to lay her egg in the colony and she will be the first to have chicks - like clock-work every year!!
This is a yellow-eyed penguin that we mis-sexed. We thought him to be a boy but here SHE is on eggs and it wasn't her mate who laid them. That one is definitely a male and he had been alone for a couple of years. He has some experience in breeding so that will be helpful when they are raising their chicks! Good luck matey, sorry about calling you a boy!
Our 2018 calendar is now available for purchase. They are NZ$20 each or NZ$150 for 10. It has unique photos of the yellow-eyed penguins at Moeraki, New Zealand, cared for by the volunteers of Penguin Rescue. The profit of the sales directly benefit the penguins through the conservation work we do. Please consider supporting our efforts!
You can get in touch either here on FB - leave a message or comment or visit http://www.penguins.org.nz/donate.html - there is an e-mail address there too.
This is a brand-new sponsorship this year by Sarah and Peter and here is their box with the 120-pair in it. Thank you for your kindness and support for our penguins. We really appreciate it.
We knew we had a pair of yellow-eyed penguins in residence in Uncle Chang's box, but only after they laid their eggs did we identify them: The male of the couple is also sponsored and was named Stewie Junior! This family is doubly blessed with two sponsors thinking of them!!