Our yellow-eyed penguins in care are all now super hungry as they want to fatten up for the moult. It's sometimes a bit stressful trying to feed birds that are behaving like this, each trying to out-shove the others to get fed. Eventually they are fat enough that they are not so desperate anymore and things calm down a lot.
As a general rule the little penguins (that include the white-flippered ones from Bank Peninsula) don't really learn to eat out of the hand - but here is the exception that proves the rule. It is always better for their feathers if we don't have to hold them and that is not a problem with the yellow-eyed penguins - but little penguins don't seem to pick up how to do that. This one has though - probably motivated by the munchies: it is so hungry prior to the moult it would probably do anything for more fish!!
The pair breeding in this sponsored box produced two chicks and one of them had to come into care because it was not gaining enough weight (the sibling fledged naturally). This wee boy did very well though and did not have Malaria. All grown up now, an excellent weight and rearing to go out to check out the big blue. Good luck, wee boy - come back if you have trouble, you hear!
Here is another mother that was sponsored as a chick and came back to breed. Her wee girl though had a difficult start. She had lost a lot of feathers as a tiny tot and we were concerned that this would bring extra Malaria risk so she has been with us since early December. She was always acting a little odd: no wonder because she had Malaria and apparently one symptom in humans is headaches. She was treated successfully and eventually acted more like a penguin should do. She is now clear of the parasite and ready to head out to sea. Hopefully she will return - like her mother - and breed! We sure could use a few more girls in the colony!
We think it's a wee girl but her head size was such that she still could "grow" into being a boy. Time will tell. Her time with us has now come to an end and it's time to learn to fish. Good luck - if you are anything like your mother, see you soon!!
This wee girl was only a few weeks with us as her parents did well with her. But in the end she needed a little extra TLC and now she is ready and healthy to head out to sea. Good luck, wee girl, come back and make more babies. There will always be some salmon for you here if you need it.
Both his chicks had to come into rehab because they were loosing weight in the field - that is in the past though and here they are in the our soft-release pen and ready to head out to sea. Neither was diagnosed with Malaria and so they are good to go. Morgan had one of each: a boy and a girl!
Poppy was Wotan's wife last year and he passed away and Poppy hooked up with the neighbour and produced these two lovelies this season. We took them both into rehab to ease her workload and it turned out Pablo had Malaria. We treated him successfully and he is now ready to go. Peggy was negative for Malaria and made good progress. Both are on their way now to the soft-release pens and off to independence very soon. They are restless and itching to go - always a good sign!
These two had two chicks and one of them fell behind and we had it in rehab since early December while the sibling stayed with the parents and fledged naturally. This one in rehab still got Malaria though - that's probably why she didn't thrive in the colony - and we treated her successfully. Here she is on her last day in rehab - ready to head out to the soft-release pens and within a few days out to sea.
Here we have some of our adult yellow-eyed penguins that are in care at the moment. Two have broken out of their pens and are running up and down the corridor talking to everyone. That's fine - they can't get out and if that is where they want to be, it's all good.
These penguins were all brought in because there was something 'off' about them: they looked like they wanted to start moulting but were too thin; they sat in a really unusual place - far away from their nest site or on a remote beach; they acted oddly, like it was super easy to catch them. We checked them all for avian malaria and some had it and were treated for it. Everyone wants to moult and they have the munchies, so they are super easy to feed - got watch out for the two in the corridor though: they don't nip you in the leg when you are feeding someone else. Cheeky buggers!!