As named by their fans on FB here is a wee update on these two cheeky yellow-eyed penguin chicks. They are home alone most days now since they have grown so much that both their parents have to go fishing through the day. Hanging out in the forest while waiting for dinner - not a bad way of spending the summer!
This time of year is our favourite. The yellow-eyed penguin chicks are large and still covered in chick down. They are curious and have started to explore their surroundings. Standing and walking on two legs ain't easy - penguins are the only animals that walk like us and learning to walk is the hardest lesson we had to learn as toddlers. Here are two very cute chicks outside their nest box exploring and finding some shade on a sunny day.
Diana and all her yellow-eyed friends and all of us here at Penguin Rescue wish you all a very beautiful and peaceful festive season and may the new year bring you all you wish for! Thank you for your interest and support through 2016 - it's been a tough one but we are hopeful for the future, in part thanks to penguins like Diana who had defied the odds and is now the proud mum of a beautiful chick! May all penguins and penguin-lovers live long and prosper! Cheers!
Or starting early to find a mate? This is one of our single yellow-eyed penguin males who is keeping busy running after a one-year old juvenile he hopes to persuade to breed with him next spring. Earlier in the breeding season we reported on some of the single males messing with breeding pairs and their eggs resulting in fights that have cost some pairs an egg or two and in some cases the chicks. When adults fight small chicks don't stand a chance. This male though is keeping busy with his new girlfriend showing her a possible nest site and generally showers her with attention - all in the name of breeding. The young females have many boys to choose from and he has to work hard to secure one for next season. Good luck, buddy, hopefully this one is a keeper!
... in the forest - yes it is that time of year when the food needs of our yellow-eyed penguin chicks exceeds what one parent can bring home at a time. So they park the chicks in the forest and go fishing. This way the chicks get two meals and the parents each get to each every day as well. The chicks are quite large now, round about 3kg but still all fluff: they are really at their cutest. Our oldest ones have started to grow tail feathers: the first sign that they will be grown up and real penguins very soon. For now we are enjoying our balls of fluff in the forest!
This was a brand-new nest box that was sponsored by Alina and Silas from far-away Europe and this yellow-eyed penguin family loved it. Both chicks made it and now look like big fluffy toys. Soon they will move out of their box and to a new site where it is shady and cleaner. While the parent is still guarding them they will always be nearby to watch over their precious offspring wherever they may wander off to. Our challenge is to find that second home - not easy in some cases as the chicks are well camouflaged and blend into the background!
As stressful and heart-breaking as November is, as delightful December turns out every year: the chicks are growing in size and some - like Thor and his sibling - are 3/4 the size of his mum here. They move out of the original nest site and find a place to snooze through the day waiting for the other parent to return from fishing with dinner! They are lazy days for the chicks and the attending parent gets a bit of shut-eye then as well - until it is time to head out when the mate has returned. Our chicks are looking like stuffed toys and are just a delight!
This is one of our sponsored yellow-eyed penguin adults and he is called Morgan. He was one of the "lucky" ones and still has a chick to raise. He is doing a really good job and the chick is now so big it is standing, sitting and sleeping independently of his parents - a good sign that it is growing up fast. The chick was treated for Diphtheria and survived unlike its sibling that did not make it. Morgan is an experienced breeder who successfully raised two chicks last year so just the one will be no problem for him and his mate this year. Good work so far, Morgan!
We have made it! Actually - the chicks have made it over the 3 week line. Even our youngest yellow-eyed penguin chicks are now 3 weeks old and that usually means that they are going to be ok and will fledge. We can relax a little and enjoy the little balls of fluff that are getting more adventurous and explore more outside their nest boxes.
Here dad has returned home from fishing and fed the chicks. He is now trying to do his duty of watching over them while not feeling to harassed for more food.
Yes, it is time to enjoy the chicks as they grow big and strong.
These are the two chicks of the 'tango' pair of yellow-eyed penguins and their failed mating - where he fell off - we posted a while ago. Evidently he did get it right in the end as both eggs hatched and they also survived when so many did not. Now they are so big they can sit on their own next to their parent - and great parents they are!