The young yellow-eyed penguin male that featured a little while ago here was found again in the same spot where we found him the first time. He was feeling very unwell and had been waiting for us for a while. It was thanks to one of our diligent volunteers who found him and he was easily caught. He only spent 5 days in rehab to clear up his fungal throat infection and then we let him go again. Notice too how his right foot has now completely healed.
A penguin's stomach is between his ankles....hence the waddle. Looks like this adult yellow-eyed penguin had a good day's fishing with a beautiful full pouch between his legs.
The behaviour of yellow-eyed penguin pairs can be very entertaining. This is a series of photos (taken from fairly far away) of Stewie Junior racing down the hill to greet his mate with a sky-point.
It's winter and we don't get to see many of our penguins and cold and wet days are used to sort through photos (among other things!). This one shows the character of the yellow-eyed penguin so well: It was taking during the moult and he was looking like he was asking " what are you looking at?" not realising he had a feather stuck in the beak! The penguin equivalent of spinach in your teeth maybe?
This yellow-eyed penguin was caught on our spy-cam exercising in the evening overlooking his beach. They also often stand and sleep on the box there - why? Good question!
Every once in a while a yellow-eyed penguin might stay at home for the day instead of going fishing and they usually hang about their house. Got to be there to protect it because in winter the young ones are house-hunting and it pays to make sure everyone knows a house is taken!
We don't know how much our yellow-eyed penguins are solitary feeders or hunt in groups. They often return one at a time but we also sometimes see a group of 4 or 5 return. Did they meet in the surf or have they been fishing together? In the Auckland Islands we have seen groups of up to 25 fishing together and it may have been cooperatively - but they always got so nosy when we came near with the boat (to see what THEY were up to) that they stopped to check out what WE were doing: not luck with any usable data!
This is Mr 102 and his mate is a 2 year old female with a sponsor and she is called Bequette. They raised one chick almost all the way but then we had to help a little. Now it is dad's turn for a little top up in hospital. He knows what it is all about and his moult is almost finished - so he is not desperate for food but will still take some - time to go back to Bequette in the colony again!
When we get one of our penguins into rehab and they have put on enough weight again so we can let them go, they are transported in a bag (don't like that much) back to the colony and then they are allowed to leave. We release them near single males if they are female for a little match making so that maybe they fall in love and stay and make babies. Here is a female released near a patch with 2 or 3 single males. She has a way to go through the moult so she has to stick around - lets hope it works!