They have done it! These two successfully raised Noodles and Squeak and have returned to moult. All they need is a little bit of a top-up in rehab. Ewan had been our guest in the past and remembered how to eat nicely but it was a new experience for Shannon: she is one of very, very few penguins living at Moeraki that has never been in rehab. She usually gives up a little early on her chicks and then moults successfully on her own - while we get her chicks nice a fat. Not this year though: they did it by themselves but now need a little bit of a helping hand. No problem!!
One of our favourite penguin ladies is back with her mate and moulting in the bushes after raising one chick that was sponsored and called Danielle.
We can only really guess who is who when they are moulting by where they are. They usually moult near their nest site and these two are exactly where their chick hung out - so pretty sure it's them!
These two were the youngest and they, too are now gone off to sea. Ewan and Shannon have done such a good job raising these two boys that weighed in at 6.5kg and 6.1kg aged 90 days (and were free of Malaria). These were the last two and they left late February (FB world is always a little behind....).
Thank you to all our lovely sponsors for caring for your chicks this summer and following their journey. Your support means so much to us and it has been a pleasure to tell you the stories. If and when we record the chicks again they will appear here on our FB page but it usually takes a number of months and sometimes a year before we find them again. Your sponsorship is for the life of the penguin, so stay in touch!
She was one of the first to come into rehab because she was underweight for her age. This is the last photo of her in rehab and she still had a little tuft of down on the back of the head. All down has to be gone before we can release them even and she did get there eventually. Good luck, wee girl!
He was one of the youngest and his mum Vivek and his dad did very well and there was no worries about his weight when he was 90 days old. We took some blood, and alas he tested positive for Malaria. So he got collected up to rehab for treatment and it wasn't long and he was away.
This is Hazel's mate and he needed a little top-up in rehab - notice how his keel is sticking out. It is normal when the penguin is almost done with the moult, but when he was brought in he had too long to go before being ready to head back out to sea - in other words, he needed a little bit of time in rehab. It's anyone's guess why he needed to stand on the top of his hut or how he even got up there. He has a grubby face because he just got fed. He wouldn't even move when we hosed the roof of his house - just enjoyed a bit of a foot spa maybe? Some are just a bit more mad than other.
She has been with us for a wee while now but she had a lot of ground to make up. She raised Randy and Richard and then someone bit her feet. They were superficial wounds but bad enough that we brought her in. She has been an absolute delight, easy to feed and she definitely got the munchies and is putting on weight nicely.
Our Royal penguin was released this week after completing his moult. He is micro-chipped but the chance of encountering him again is pretty small: there are about 500,000 pairs on Macquarie Island. Good luck little buddy, it was a pleasure!
We had left Randy with dad when Molly came into rehab (and is still there) while brother Richard was also in rehab but has been released. Randy was last seen in the colony on 13 February and was picked up at the next headland south from Moeraki, at Shag Point, hanging out in an unsafe place, only 10 days later. He was still nice and heavy and won't need to be with us for long - just long enough to make sure he has no Malaria and then he can be on his way. Feel free to come back any time, Randy, plenty of salmon here!
This wee girl was one of the last-hatched in our colony and was still hanging about while the other chicks had fledged. However, her weight was pretty good so we were not worried until she was seen begging from a moulting adult. That clinched it for us and she came into rehab. Not long to go, a few extra 100grams and she will be away.