This is another wee yellow-eyed penguin girl that was sponsored as a chick and made it! AND she scored a very special mate: Wotan, the Magnificent wooed her and here she is sitting very competently on her two eggs while he is out fishing. Together they make a fine couple and here is hoping for Wotan Junior and/or Little Poppy coming along early next month!
This was a brand-new box a year ago or so and last season we never spotted a yellow-eyed penguin near it, so we were delighted with this young couple taking an interest recently. There won't be laying any eggs - not yet. One of the two is only a yearling or juvenile and the other is probably a tender 2 years old. Sometimes it takes a little time before penguins discover new boxes but they do eventually! And when they do they own and defend it!
This 4-year old yellow-eyed penguin female owes her life to our wonderful St Kilda's vet team. She had the most horrid cut to her left hip that they stitched up beautifully. She needed rehab after her operation and we saw her also through the moult. About 6 weeks after her release we found her again in the colony weighing a mere 3kg and brought her back into rehab. Her wound had healed but she had obviously some trouble still - post-traumatic stress maybe? It is a beautiful example how monitoring our colonies even in winter for birds like her and others can prevent their death well after all the vet and rehab work is done (or appears to be done!).
A year ago Stitches had found a mate and laid a couple of eggs but the chicks did not survive. She has survived the last 12 months very well making it through the moult unassisted and here she is again with two eggs. She is a survivor and will soon be mum to a couple of chicks.
Thank you, St Kilda vets - this one is your success story!
Continuing with our catch-up with our sponsored penguins, this is a older male sponsored by kind, caring people who has also made it back and is still with his old mate on a couple of eggs. They, too were early and by the end of the month there ought to be babies in this nest!
This is a yellow-eyed penguin male who was sponsored in memory of a special young man. He is back with his old mate and sitting proudly on his 2 eggs here. They were one of the first ones to lay eggs and we hope see their tiny babies by the end of the month.
This yellow-eyed penguin breeding pair has returned to their sponsored nest box they used last year and here the male is proudly sitting on their first egg. Neither parent will sit tightly on the first egg effectively delaying the start of incubation until the second egg arrives about 3 days after the first. Then the incubation starts properly and the chicks will hatch on the same day. That makes them the same size and the first-laid egg/chick doesn't have a size and age advantage over its sibling.
This was one of our first sponsors who kindly donated money for us to build a box. It had been used for a wee while, then the bird had moved away and now we have had this penguin sitting in Ali's box. Let's hope that it stays, finds a mate and makes pretty penguin babies - maybe not this year, but next year. Thank you Ali!
A pretty name for a beautiful wee female yellow-eyed penguin sitting proudly on her two eggs. She was a lucky chick who was sponsored and named two years ago and has come back to breed. She managed to learn to feed all by herself and made it through the year. We recorded her a year ago in this colony, but we had to give her a helping hand through her first moult. We feel rewarded that she has come back and laid eggs. What a great bird!
We rely entirely on donations to do our work and none of us is being paid, so all donations go towards covering the cost of caring of this endangered species. Kind people donate towards the cost of building nest boxes for our yellow-eyed penguins and 'claim' it by having their name on it. If birds are using 'their' box we post news on FB. Here we have an inventive sponsor - and the box was aptly named. Thank you for helping!
Many yellow-eyed penguins are now occupied - and pre-occupied - with their eggs, but everyone has to eat. Here some penguins have encountered each other on the way home just off the beach - having a wee rest, a chat and then they wander off to their respective nests.
Notice how pink their feet are: they supply their feet with lots of blood to cool off when they have been exercising, that is swimming home and walking across the beach. It's the penguin way of sweating!