Our yellow-eyed penguin chicks are getting their 90 day check-up and that involves weighing as well as measuring. We can guess in many cases whether they are male or female depending on the size of their heads and in Pyne's case, it turned out to be a male: the head is already bigger than most females and he is not fully grown yet.
Unfortunately quite a number of chicks had to come into rehab this week because they had lost a lot of weight (not Pyne, he was fine). We are checking the rest regularly to relieve the parents that are obviously struggling to fatten up the chicks. Why? Don't know. However, some of the mums in particular are quite young and they may not be coping. So it's a good idea to give them a break. They have done great to get their chicks this far. We will be posting an update on all the sponsored chicks and their parents this weekend to let you all lovely sponsors know what's happening with your chicks.
Lie flat on your belly.
Stretch legs out behind you as far as you can.
Touch the tips of your flippers behind your back.
Go back to sleep.
Here is a challenge for you penguin lovers out there: can you do yoga like Thor's chick here? We were not even sure s/he woke up properly....s/he never noticed the photographer!!
Our yellow-eyed penguins are wild and they choose where they want to breed or hang out. And some of them use more than one box: here is a pair of chicks whose parents chose the box next door to this one but the chicks started to wander and thought it was a pretty cool place to hang out. So Addison's box got some company this season afterall. The chicks are enjoying the shade on warm, sunny days while they wait for the parents to return from fishing.
Another blessed yellow-eyed penguin chick got a sponsor who named him/her Penguino - of course, that's a very appropriate name for a penguin baby. Not such a baby anymore with his microchip and wooly hat and scarf. Penguino is almost 90 days old now and it's time to do another weigh of him/her and all the other chicks to see if they are heavy enough and if the parents struggle to get them over 5kg we will give them a hand. By sight all chicks are looking fab but that can be deceiving: it's better to rely on scales.
They are no longer fluffballs but these yellow-eyed penguin chicks currently residing in our hospital are starting to look like real penguins - well sorta: they are half and half maybe, not chicks anymore but also not quite penguin looking just yet either. So they wear their woolly hats with deviance and are waiting to grow up and fledge. You may notice a wee one in the corner: that's the youngest and it's Vivek's chick that came in with strange large bold patches that are now completely gone.
Sometimes the job of tidying those feathers is so fascinating that they don't notice the photographer. That was the case for one of the two chicks that grew up in Andy Cunningham's box. They have now moved out - like all chicks have - and are hanging out with Pyne but here the job at hand is preening. Thank you Andy for sponsoring these two!
This chick now has a sponsor and he is one of our youngest with mostly brown fluffy feathers so far. On this day his father Rik was home keeping him company while mum was out at sea fishing. Or maybe Rik just had a lie-in and is going to get a late supper for tonight? In any case, Logan Bear Penguin has a wonderful sponsor now and very dedicated parents (and a sibling in hospital) - it's looking good!
He has the undivided attention of his parents as he is their only chick (their second egg did not hatch) so he is looking just fantastic and growing up fast: almost a real penguin now with a micro-chip and a lot of adult feathers. Thank you to the kind sponsor of Rex!
It has been very difficult to get a photo of this chick as its favourite spot to hang out during the day is among this flax bush. So we either get to see his bum or maybe his face if we are lucky. The other day we were lucky and here he is. He is one of our oldest and has lost almost all his down already.
A little while ago we found Odd Simen (from Brent Sinclair's box) up a tree to get away from the chicks and here is one of his chicks also up the tree! It's another little creche that has formed in the forest with two younger chicks hanging out with them (on the left). Soon they will also have white bellies!