Here on the Moeraki peninsula in North Otago, New Zealand, we have the largest Yellow-eyed penguin colony on the South Island. We have identified 74 penguins that live here at the lighthouse which includes 25 breeding pairs. For this species, this is a big number - making this a super special place.
We also get a lot of people coming here wanting to see penguins. A lot of people i.e. thousands and thousands every year - because it is free. So there is a fence to keep people from bothering the penguins. Most people stay on their side of the fence, after there is a sign saying 'keep out - endangered wildlife'. But there is always someone who believes this does not apply to them, so they climb the fence. After all there is no one there to police it and so there are no consequences. Here is one such person caught on our spy-camera. He is on a stretch of beach used by many, many penguins. There a number of moulting penguins usually hanging out near this camera - all gone. They probably ran away and hid somewhere.
There will be no consequences for this man - but he is walking where he should not and he is scaring penguins. Shame on you.
For more examples, please visit our website:http://www.penguins.org.nz/visitor-disturbance.html
Before yellow-eyed penguin chicks leave for sea for the first time they are often seen exercising their chest and back muscles by 'flying' while standing up. Penguins 'fly' in the water: they look like birds in the air and are propelled by the same wing/flipper motion as flying birds are. The photo shows two chicks practicing - and maybe dreaming about what it would be like to fly in water!