Our yellow-eyed penguin chicks are growing every day and Morgan's two chicks are too. They had to be treated but so far so good. Seven chicks in total have died now and two pairs are have lost both chicks and are taking the summer off. It is sad and although we hope that all chicks make it, realistically they never all do. The chicks are not out of the woods yet, but give it another week or so and most will be.
We are almost at the end of hatching - a single egg still to go but unlikely to hatch now unfortunately and Vivek's eggs were the last ones to be laid and ought to be hatching presently. So the tally stands at 66 chicks hatched but 5 have died so far (no sponsored ones but one of Stitches' chicks, the other is being treated). We are currently treating 15 chicks and they are progressing well. Among them are Poppy's chicks - here in the photo. Their symptoms were not severe and they are almost done with their course of antibiotics. What was striking about these two are the size difference: it's always a sign that something is amiss. The difference was not huge but there ought not be any at all.
Almost all our chicks have now hatched and the oldest ones are almost 2 weeks old. Here are Mandy's chicks guarded by their dad and doing well. In total we have 64 chicks, 3 unfortunately have died and 13 are being treated for Diphtheria. We are in the thick of it now but every day we do a round and don't find dead chicks is a great day!
The chicks are still very small and usually tucked under their parents to keep them warm so it isn't easy to snap a photo. Here is the chick from Penny Box 3. The parents are both young: he is a chick from the 2015 season - thus 3 years old - and he has the same parents as Thor; and she is a 2 year old female with Morgan as her father - and who struggled so she was fledged through the hospital. So far so good - no guarantees though especially this early in the season!
Time is flying by and in our yellow-eyed penguin colonies 44% of eggs have now hatched. We have 34 chicks - unfortunately we already lost one chick but its sibling is doing fine.
We have many sponsors awaiting news of their penguins or the family living in their box. So here is an update for everyone:
Bequette: 2 chicks - now sponsored named Jax and Chris
Janet: 2 eggs - both fertile - hatching soon
Thor: 1 chick
Odd Simen in Brent Sinclair's box: 2 chicks
Jordana Whyte box: 2 eggs - both fertile - hatching soon - Jordana: the writing on your box has come off - still your box though!
Penny Box 1: 2 chicks
Mandy: 2 chicks
Cayden and Alicia How box: 1 egg - fertile - hatching soon
Morgan in his Remembrance box: 2 chicks
Penny Box 3: 1 chick
Stitches: 2 chicks
Jacob Thompson's box: 2 chicks
Dylan: 2 chicks
Poppy: 2 chicks
Stewie Junior with Ciara in Uncle Chang's box: 2 chicks
"Mrs 31" sponsored in hospital last year: 2 eggs - fertile - hatching soon
Chicky: 1 chick - see photo - and 1 chick adopted to:
Jackson and his mate in Anja and Alfreda's box
The chicks are still so very tiny and very difficult to take photos of - they are growing fast though and will soon be photogenic!
Our penguin colony is a lot like humans in New Zealand: we are separated by about half a degree of separation - the rest of the world? 6 degrees!
So it is with Ciara: she has been chosen specifically as Stewie Junior's (new) mate in Uncle Chang's box. Her father is mated to Poppy and she grew up across a small bay from where she found Stewie Junior. Her step-mother (so her father's previous mate) is Dylan's new mate - and these two sponsors are also related.....so she, her mate, her house and her two fertile eggs are so blessed - what could go wrong when so many fingers and toes are crossed - and of course we will be watching over this precious 2-year old as well!
Life is looking up for Dylan: he has a new mate, a new house, 2 brand-new chicks and now he also has a sponsor: Life is looking up for this yellow-eyed penguin male. It's not always been this good. Whilst we don't know where Dylan is from or how old he is exactly (about 6-7 yrs now) we know what he has been up to over the last four years since he was marked. He had a mate then and raised two chicks; then she disappeared and he sat out a year; found a new mate, raised one chick; then she disappeared and he sat out another year. But now he has all a penguin could wish for and he is a happy camper!
This box was used last year by a pair that raised two chicks. Unfortunately it looks like the female has not returned and here the male is making sure she is not in this box. He has been occupying a different box down the hill in the forest but alas, she did not come home. He has been seen and heard plenty in the colony but it looks like he is getting the summer off. It will give him time to go and chase a new mate for next season - and the Comfy Retreat box will always there for him
Another box sponsored by the lovely Penny has also got a pair breeding in it now. It is a 3-year old male with a 2-year old female and they have one egg. Interestingly they are both from this colony here and they grew up not 40m from each other - neighbours so to speak! Hopefully this will be the first of many years this pair produces offspring.
has a breeding pair in it. We have seen a bird use this nest but thought initially it was a lonely male, but alas there are two and they have eggs. Thank you, Penny, you are a wonderful supporter!