May you and yours have a wonderful 2020! Thank you all for your interest and kind support.
This chick is about the size and age of the 47 chicks that are now populating our rehab facility. They are slowly - one by one - getting the hang of being fed but it is a slow process that requires much patience.
Two ferrets were killed - and one or both of them could have been it - we will never know as there are no chicks in the colonies now! It is not beyond a stoat to kill a 4kg chick as they don't know how to defend themselves. It is my view that adults are not in danger as they know they have a formidable weapon in their bill and flippers. The other good news is that we found Danni's chick: it had been missing the longest and with the others disappearing or found dead we assumed it had died somewhere, but alas it was alive. Hurrah!!
This chick unfortunately lost its sibling to Diphtheria but it was very well looked after by the parents and was thriving. Bri is a young female with a new mate - and a lovely sponsor thinking of her!
We have had an unprecedented predation event that saw five chicks disappear or found dead. Unfortunately some are known to you: Vivek's chick, Poppy's chick, Danni's chick and Bequette's chick (+ one more) are all gone. So we had to take the drastic measure of collecting all the other chicks up and put them into rehab - 46 of them. The picture shows Morgan's two chicks and Vivek's second chick. There are so few yellow-eyed penguins on the planet now that they are all so very, very precious and we could not leave them out there in the colony with a predator that can kill and drag away a 4kg chick that has a parent in attendance. Obviously after the first casualties we put out more traps, re-baited the old ones and Jo went shooting, but the risk was just too high. So we now have a kindergarten at our rehab facility - a bit like last year, just more of them.
So, what about your sponsored chick, parent or box. I have been taking a lot of photos over the last couple of weeks so I will be posting them until I run out. I will also post updates of sponsored chicks in rehab - be assured they are all perfectly safe there and well looked after: no predators and they are protected from mosquitos and Avian Malaria as well.
There is tiny silver lining in all of this: the parents are now free to look after themselves without the stress of having to feed their chicks. This will hopefully mean they can moult unassisted in the colony.
If you want to help, please consider making a donation towards food and medicine for the penguins. Avian Malaria meds are quite pricey and no one will go without, but it will help.
This pair has a brand new sponsored box and are still hovering around it with their chicks. They are getting bigger and are moving around a lot but are fortunate that they still have a parent with this while others in the colony are now home alone during the day.
This rectangular box is ideal for yellow-eyed penguins that want to breed out in the open, e.g. in a grazed paddock, because the whole family fits inside in the shade. Chicky has chosen a mate who owned an A-frame - sponsored as Flipper Palace - but there is not much shade around that box for the family. So we parked this sponsored box next to theirs and it was there last year but the family did not use it. They are this year though - finally they have caught onto their second house!
This sponsored box was inhabited by a family in the past but this year is occupied by a single male. He took to his dummy egg for a while but got a bit bored with it. Fortunately he appears to be not the jealous type and is leaving the neighbour family with one chick alone. He is prospecting and we have spotted some good-looking juveniles in the vicinity. He has a house - now he needs to attract a young female so he can breed again next year. Good luck, buddy - you make a great dad.
All of us here at Penguin Rescue wish all of you wonderful penguin lovers a wonderful Christmas and festive season. Thank you all so much for your interest and support - the penguins need it all to survive. We truly appreciate all your comments here on FB and especially want to thank all of you wonderful sponsors out there.
A double sponsorship for this family with the female newly named Shannon and the box was also given a name. Two chicks are being raised here - and with all that support and interest coming their way they will do well, no doubt. Thank you!