It's that time of year when the yellow-eyed penguins are changing feathers. Here a juvenile is beautifully fat and will easily make it through the four weeks of fasting. You can already see the brand-new yellow line around the head.
Wrap up of penguin and box sponsorships
All our chicks have now gone from the colonies and only a few are left in rehab but are almost ready to be released. We have been blessed with many sponsorships this year and we don’t have a photo for each of them in the last stages because the chicks have wandered off away from their boxes and could not positively identified – except for Pengee 2 and 3 – here in the photo. We checked on them regularly to see if they looked ok and only caught them again if we were concerned. So here is a run down of all the lucky adults, chicks and boxes that that had caring sponsors this season:
Mandy raised her chick
Morgan raised one chick and one chick was rehabbed
Stewie Junior in Uncle Chang’s box raised two chicks
Pengee 1 raised Pengee 2 and 3
Poppy and Wotan raised their chick
Bequette’s chick was rehabbed
One chick from Alina and Silas Gihl’s box was raised and one rehabbed
Vivek raised one chick
Odd Simen raised one chick
Rocket fledged naturally
Sandy was rehabbed
The chicks from Staverts Penguin Comfy Retreat were raised
The chicks from Peter and Sarah’s box were raised
The chick from Jacob Thompson’s box was raised
The chicks from Hotel Buenzli were rehabbed
Pepe was fledged naturally and Poppet was rehabbed
Forever Bubbles fledged naturally
Unfortunately Jackson’s chick died
Stitches raised one chick and one chick was rehabbed
Thank you also to this year’s box sponsors
Kirsten and Charlotte, Cayden and Alicia, Benny’s Angel, the Wild family, Flintford and Addison Pittsley, Penny box 1, 2 and 3.
Maybe next year a penguin family will use your box!
Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors for your interest and your support!
Our colonies are emptying out of chicks. Here is a small creche of yellow-eyed penguin chicks on the landing furiously preening to get waterproof and ready to head out to sea. They all look fab and fat!! Any day now and they are gone!
These chicks have been hanging out on the landing for a while - as evidenced by all the pooh there. They evidently have found the way to the beach but haven't quite plucked up the courage to go - there may just be one more meal to be had from the parents that will be emerging from the sea.....
While we still have some chicks in the colony - in this case a small gathering of three - there are also the chicks from last year ashore now for their annual moult - the furthest to the right is a juvenile yellow-eyed penguin just starting the moult. Notice how it is more brown in colour - while the chicks are blue: that is the age of the feathers. The juveniles have been wearing the feathers for a year and they are old and worn now and need to be replaced. When it is finished with the moult and has new feathers it will be blue like the chicks and sporting an elegant yellow headband - a real yellow-eyed penguin!
This is another species of crested penguin currently receiving TLC at our rehab facility. He may look a lot like a Snares penguin but he is an Erect-crested penguin - also lost and trying to moult. These two are very social species but they don't like each other, so we put them in pens next to each other so they can see but not fight. Every morning they swear at each other and then go and sit in their respective boxes and come out when it is feeding time. They also seem so dainty compared to the much larger yellow-eyed penguins. Both are super easy to feed and care for and are a pleasure to have!