We realise we are not the only ones who wait with fingers crossed to see who has made it through to this breeding season: our kind sponsors of penguins also want to know. Here is a picture of Danni who has returned to her old nest and has two brand-new eggs. We will post pictures of other sponsored penguins in the coming weeks but for now here is a run-down who is still round (list of sponsored boxes to come....):
Ciara has a new mate
Bri has a new mate
Stitches is with her previous mate
Poppy has a new mate
Chicky is with her previous mate
Vivek is with a new mate (no eggs yet, she is always last to lay)
Stewie Junior has a new mate
Jackson is with his old mate and is incubating fostered eggs
Dylan is single (widowed) his mate died of Malaria
Bequette has a new mate
Janet has a new mate
Thor has a new mate
Morgan is with his old mate
Odd Simen is with his old mate
This three-year old has done very well last year. She laid two fertile eggs - pretty good for a first-timer - and both hatched. While she was only two years old last year and a very precious young female we decided to adopt one of her chicks to Jackson and his mate (two boys) who raised it beautifully. Chicky and her mate did very well with their chick as well and they moulted without any help from us. Now she is back and on her first egg. Well done, little one, this was a difficult year and you made it!
It is all very exciting here at our yellow-eyed penguin colonies as we are discovering who has made it so far. We found Stitches on her first egg - those of you who remember Stitches will realise that she is super precious: she came to us as a youngster with a horrendous belly bite that was superbly stitched up by our vet Tony and it healed beautifully and she has bred since then. Unfortunately no chicks for her last year, they died young, but hopefully this year she and her mate will get to raise their chicks - with help from us if required of course. She is super special to us and we are delighted she is back!
The yellow-eyed penguins certainly made us wait but finally the first eggs have arrived. Here is female from Jacob Thompson's box from last year (her mate died of Malaria) in Uncle Chang's box where she has shacked up with Stewie Junior. We have not been able to identify Ciara yet but hope she has moved into the forest a wee bit with an attractive bachelor there. We will find out soon enough. So far we have 12 females having laid eggs - loads more to come we hope - fingers crossed.
We haven't seen anyone but seal pups use this box but it looks like this pair has taken a liking for it. They certainly have brought in loads of sticks: that's gotto to impress the lady. After all it is the female who decides in the end where to lay the eggs - once laid they can't be shifted (not by penguins anyway!!!)
There has been no breeding in this box for years and years. It was the patch of one bachelor after the other but none were able to attract a mate. It looks like it may have changed - although compared to some of the other nests, this one needs a bit more furnishings!
We sneak around in our yellow-eyed penguin colonies to spy if we can find any eggs. Nothing so far but they can't be far off. By this time last year we were already well into it but that was really unusual. Here we have a pair that has been super busy carrying in all those cabbage tree leaves. Soon there will be eggs no doubt!
In the weekend on our rounds of our yellow-eyed penguin colonies we encountered this group: two adults and four juveniles. We were very excited because the youngsters looked great and it was only 1:30 in the afternoon and they had already returned to the colony. Food must be good and it gives us a glimmer of hope for the future!
surely a handsome fella like this beautiful yellow-eyed penguin male will be able to find a mate and make fluffy chicks. The penguins are looking good, well fed and so far quite relaxed. The running round, showing off, building nests and all the other pre-breeding activities are not quite in full swing yet, but soon the females will choose which of the nests her mate has prepared she will lay the eggs. So the boys need to get on with it if they want to impress her.
During the winter months the yellow-eyed penguins take it easy. It's like a holiday for them as they don't have to tend any eggs or feed chicks. Their minds though might be turning now to the business of breeding, finding a mate, prepare a nest site, fend of intruders and competitors. Not long now until we are expecting our first eggs - about mid September.