We have a southern visitor in our rehab facility at the moment. This Snares (crested) penguin is far from his home on the Snares Island and was skinny and weak when he arrived at Penguin Rescue. He was trying to moult but would have never made it. He has now filled up nicely and moulted all over - except his flippers. It looks like he is wearing sleeves of unmoulted feathers. Once they have all been replaced and he is nice and fat we will let him go and he can take his time heading south and home.
These predator trap covers are very popular with the yellow-eyed penguin chicks in our colony - we often see them sitting on them and not just the adults but also the chicks like this pair of siblings - well one of them got to sit on the box, the other might be waiting for it's chance!
Outside our forest the yellow-eyed penguins have nest sites in a grazed pasture and here a sheep is sharing the shade of a tree that this yellow-eyed penguin chick is also sharing. No problem here, the sheep are keeping the grass short which makes it easier for the penguins to get around and it also decreases the introduced predators as there is less shelter and food. Sheep and penguins get on - but who knows what they make of each other!!
Some yellow-eyed penguin chicks are more adventurous than others: This is one of Morgan's chicks up a tree!! We had to bring the sibling into rehab because it was not up to weight at the 90 day weigh-in. It will give both chicks a better - fatter - chance to survive post-fledging and the parents get to keep more of the food for themselves. Soon this chick will leave it's tree abode and follow the parents through the forest to the beach where it will head out for the first time into the big blue. Good luck my friend, and come back if you don't manage!
This is one of our female breeders who had to spend some time in our rehab facility - and has a kind sponsor - because of a small foot injury. She recovered very well but was not well pleased about her stay with us. It is possible that she might have been able to hear her mate in the colony as it is close-by and here she is calling from her pen. Once her foot had healed she got very restless and we released her back near her nest site. We will be keeping an eye on her as an injury like that sometimes results in a bird not putting on enough weight for the moult. If she is found to be too thin we will bring her in again to see her through the moult and also bring her mate rehab for company so that their pair bond doesn't break.
This is one of our oldest yellow-eyed penguin chicks and it's last photo. It is beautifully rounded in the chest and belly and weighed 5.9kg at the 90 day weigh-in. It's head size was just on the borderline of male/female so it could be quite a big female or a smallish male. If it survives and returns to breed we can re-measure and also determine the sex of the mate. But first it has to learn how to catch fish and it is out there doing just that.
For those of you who know this family: it is Mandy's chick and sibling to Thor from last season.
Most of our yellow-eyed penguin chicks now have lost almost all their down. This one is running a little later and is still wearing a woolly hat - is appears to be rather demanding. It is a singleton and the parents have fattened it up nicely. It looks like it is not shy for asking for food either.....
This yellow-eyed penguin chick has been one of the elusive chicks in our colony and had taken up residence in dense vegetation - no photos ever came out to be posted. The other day it was however out and about and here it is at 3 months old and looking fab. It weighed in at 5.8kg and the parents have done as usual a great job. No assistance was required from us and now the chick is almost ready to head out to it's big adventure in the big blue. Good luck, little buddy, fare well and come back if you can't find any fish!
Yellow-eyed penguins of all ages are very sociable and we have been having a bit of a heatwave. These four chicks in our hospital have gathered around their waterdish that has some small pebbles in it and they just love to play with them. We have to replace them regularly.
The chicks have come from two sponsored boxes and are siblings: Caydon and Alicia How box and Hotel Buenzli box.
The inventively named "Stavert's Comfy Penguin Retreat" box saw two chick hatch and their parents have done a good job raising them but at the weigh-in at 70 days one of the chicks was not quite up to weight. So to relieve the obviously struggling parents, it was whisked off to rehab for a bit of TLC and R&R. It has now learned to eat from the hand and will be dining on salmon twice a day until it is time to be released at 3.5 months old. It's sibling in the meantime remains in the colony and should now thrive without the competition of a sibling.