At this time of year we don't really know who is kicking about in our penguin colony and we only find out when someone is in trouble: in this case we found Charlie who was raised by the boys Jackson and his mate - who by the way has recently been sponsored and is now called Freddie!!
Anyway, Charlie will be ok. She has a nick in her right flipper - you can see the blood in the photo - and Malaria. We can fix both those and she is definitely has an opinion (and it involves a lot of swearing) about being in rehab. Tough luck, sweetie, you need to be here until all better!
Recently the Penguin Rescue folk went to the Oamaru Penguin Symposium and our friend and colleague Thomas from the Christchurch rehab effort told the story of Jo, the adventurous and so lucky yellow-eyed penguin juvenile. Jo was sponsored as a chick last year, and after fledging headed north where he was found very skinny and needed rehab. Thomas and Christina did a wonderful job and Jo got a ride back to Moeraki to be released. This time he stuck around and we found him in February moulting in the colony.
Thomas told this amazing story at the symposium to about 100 penguin people and we were all stunned and amazed at the recovery ability of Jo. Hopefully we will find him in the coming months again, happily settled into life at Moeraki!
Another photo from the moulting file - it is actually quite hard to tell a juvenile from an adult when they are at this stage of the moult. The right one is definitely a juvenile yellow-eyed penguin but the left one?? Could be an adult....
Yellow-eyed penguins are birds....of course, and birds sit in trees, right??
Well, this young male thought this was just the best spot to survey his surroundings!
Another photo from the moult: a moulting adult and moulting juvenile yellow-eyed penguin have parked up right next to a NZ fur seal on the foreshore. As far as we know fur seals don't kill yellow-eyed penguins (they do little penguins). The penguins tend to be afraid of the seals when they are moving about on land, most likely because they are big animals. Seals come ashore to rest and don't have food on the brain which they hunt for in the sea. So even if something edible walks by they probably won't go for it. So these penguins are quite safe sharing the foreshore with the fur seal - besides it seems to be rather passed out.
It's more quiet now and time to sort through some photos. This one is from January when we found this pre-moult yellow-eyed adult dozing in the shade. It never noticed us and was just waiting out the moult: only another 3.5 weeks to go!
Usually the yellow-eyed penguins head out to sea in the morning to go fishing, but this lot decided to go for another play in the surf after they had arrived ashore in the afternoon. There may have been some peer-pressure at play!
We don't expect to see juveniles around just yet. It usually happens later in the year and we are happy to see them in June or July. This is early and by the looks of it this juvenile is doing just fine. S/he is hanging out in a slightly strange and out of the way spot, but young birds are bound to do that. S/he must know how to catch fish by now as it's been too long since fledging. We were so happy to see this wee fella!
This yellow-eyed penguin pair is taking a day off and just hanging out in the grass enjoying the sunshine. It is their down time now after breeding and moulting is completed, so why not?