Every family has one: a clown, an acrobat, a show-off. This young male was not doing wonderful in the field and was in rehab for a little top up but evidently had enough of all this: he's tried to get out and has managed to climb onto the wee ledge in one of our pens. He was pretty good at walking along it as well. It was obvious that he was better and it was time he went back to the wild. Let's hope his acrobatics impress a young lady out there and he'll manage to produce some agile wee chicks next season.
Kind people picked up this wee fella off the beach in Karitane where it was staggering about not being able to walk because s/he was so weak. They called us and we met up to take him to our rehab facility. S/he is probably a fledgling that didn't work out how to fish. S/he has now got a second chance as s/he rallied nicely and has a good appetite: even eating out of the hand - and nothing will stand between it and the fish, not even the moulting cell mate!
She is not particularly old - 9 years in fact - but she often struggles to raise chicks. One chick might work, but two? No. She and her mate only had one chick this season and raised Rex until they gave up and then we took over. Rex has been released and has gone to sea now - fingers crossed he has learnt how to fish - and his mum was not quite fat enough - so she gets the usual: TLC, salmon top up and the all important blood test for Malaria. She'll be good to go very soon - her mate is waiting for her in the colony and it will be good to reunite them so their pair bond does not break.
Three years ago a kind sponsor named two chicks: Jackson and Bequette and luck had it that both came back. Bequette - being a girl - had no trouble finding a mate - but Jackson as a young male had a bit of trouble, until he shacked up with an older male. We always need foster parents for eggs and he and his mate raised one of Chicky's eggs this season and it fledged naturally - no need for any help from us. Jackson's mate is in their house moulting, but Jackson looked a bit skinny so he is in rehab for some TLC, blood test and a top up. He is almost finished with the moult, and will return to the colony and his mate very soon - surely the mate will be super impressed with the gorgeous coat he is wearing now!!
Those of you who have been following us for a while will know Stitches and how precious she is to us. She has been rehabilitated many times, most notably as a juvenile and young adult, and she has come back to breed. Unfortunately she did not get to raise any chicks this season so we hadn't identified her since November and did not know where she was moulting - it wasn't near her nest. These two got picked up because they did not look quite fat enough for the stage of the moult - and behold it was Stitches and her mate. They are now safely in rehab, getting tested to make sure they are ok, fattened up a little and then they get to head out again. We were relieved and delighted!
This young lady is freshly sponsored and thus named by a penguin loving young lass of the same name. Danni is in rehab for a little top up - being a precious 3 year old female who raised two chicks this summer (with a little help from us) was not quite fat enough to make it through the moult comfortably. So we brought her in, checked her blood for Malaria - waiting for the results - and some salmon and if she is clear of Malaria she can go back down the hill and be off very soon. Hopefully having come through the moult ok she will be back to breed and make fluffy chicks next season. Thank you, Danni for caring about Danni!
We have had the - sometimes - pleasure to care for a Fiordland penguin for a while. He was very sick and emaciated and hadn't moulted and it took him ages to get over it and moult. The eating thing was not so easy, as he kept biting down on the fish munting it and trying to feed a disemboweled fish can get a bit messy. Now though it is time to head home - a bit of a swim as he normally lives on the west coast or Stewart Island. But the sea is his home and he is a good weight and knows how to fish. He was just a bit lost - a good thing he was found and can now go home. Bon voyage - be well.
This 2 year old yellow-eyed penguin female did very, very well raising a chick with her mate - a chick that was named Pompey and was one of the very few in the colony that managed to fledge without any help from us. Now mum needs a little TLC to make it through the moult so that she can be back next season and practice parenting!!
This 3-year old yellow-eyed penguin female has now got a guardian angel in a sponsor. She has an incredible line of ancestors from Moeraki, Otago Peninsula and even the Catlins that stretch back seven generations to 1978. Last season she hooked up with "Mr Crazy", a rather stroppy older male but had no luck with chicks. She left him for her current mate and managed to raise a couple of chicks - one came to rehab for a top-up - a great achievement for one so young. She is now half way through her moult and residing in our rehab facility. We are making sure she is not exposed to whatever is causing the Malaria until the end of her moult and then she can be on her way. So far so good, no trace of the parasite in her!
Sometimes strange coincidences happen: we picked up Ciara yesterday as she looked a little too thin for our liking coming to the end of the moult - indeed she was under 4 kg - so she is with us for some TLC, blood tests, salmon etc. And on the same day we picked up another bird that looked like it was not quite fat enough. When we checked the chip it turned out to be Ciara's brother: same year, same parents. He is the coy one of the left while Ciara was not in the mood to pose and that was the best photo she allowed us to take.
P.S. Stewie Junior, Ciara's mate, was still moulting and looking fine.