It's always a delight to see penguins protesting against their confinement because it means they are well and ready to be released. This penguin decided to climb to the top of nest box in his pen, maybe to check out the view as to how to get outta here? Regardless, we register that a bird with this behaviour is well again and ready for the real world. See ya later, buddy!
We get various types of penguins in our rehab facility and little penguins hang out in their burrows or nest boxes during the day. So we are making these new houses available to them while they are convalescing with us. The net over the top is to protect them against mosquitos. Who know what these houses were originally designed for but they are just perfect for our smallest patients.
The best part of rehabilitating a precious species like yellow-eyed penguins is letting them go again. Here we released Pompey - FB superstar and repeat offender, correction: guest at Penguin Rescue rehab facility - and her inmate friend (with no name). Both were seen successfully through the moult. Pompey came in with a sore throat (again) and her mate-with-no-name had Malaria. All good now, these two had a fabulous waddle - love those hips! No need to tell either of them to come back if they are in trouble: they know that!!
We are still operational with slightly different procedures in place. The penguins in rehab are cared for, we have food and medicine for them, and they are released as per usual when they are ready.
Since we are still allowed to talk to each other on the phone, I will get updates from Moeraki and will be posting about the penguins we have in rehab and how they are progressing - some of them are sponsored. For now we are settling into this new weird routine.....
Take care everyone out there and enjoy your me-time!!
This chick is our last to leave us. Today (in real time) we have opened the soft-release pen door for him to go to learn fishing like the others. He is a miracle penguin. His mother is a two year old and laid only one small egg, three weeks after the others had laid theirs and he hatched on 7th December.
At two days old he contracted Avian Diphtheria and survived. When we uplifted the other chicks, he was too young to come into kindergarten so we left him there and he eluded predation.
He did not avoid Malaria and so he was treated successfully when he came into rehab on 18th January.
Even though he was smaller and younger, he held his own with the other chicks until they all left and he has spent the last few weeks with juveniles and adults for company. He tested clear of Malaria now and we all wish him well.
This is our last post on sponsored chicks before they were released. So far we have not had any return - hopefully that is a good sign but we usually get some of our chicks back into rehab through the winter. If any of them were sponsored, they will of course feature here.
For now a huge THANK YOU to all our wonderful sponsors. Your interest and support is invaluable for us and allows us to do what we do to prevent the extinction of this species on South Island New Zealand. You are helping - you are amazing!
These two chicks were super photogenic at Claire's box and have featured already a few times here. They are all grown up now and have left kindergarten to learn how to catch fish.
Those of you who have been following our posts will know Thor, a magnificent female with a powerful name. She lost her mate from last season - we suspect Avian Malaria - but was not idle and found a new mate. They had two chicks but unfortunately her sibling was the one fatality we had in rehab. One day the chick seemed fine, the next day it was dead. We had no warning (e.g. vomiting) and we were told it died of a bacterial infection. Here is the surviving sibling still with a brown fluffy scarf - it is of course now released and hopefully catching lots of fish out there.
This is Bequette's brother who has been serving the yellow-eyed penguin population as a foster dad with his (male) mate. These two boys are fab and have raised a couple of chicks again this season. Bless them - there aren't enough females around but always eggs that need fostering (for one reason or another like a young mother gives up). So, these two boys are doing their bit!
This chick was first thought to be one of the victims of the predators but Poppy and her mate hid it so well that we couldn't find it. Eventually of course we did and here it is safely in rehab - now of course it is hopefully busy fishing out in the big blue.
We are so blessed by so many sponsors and here Mum is sponsored as well as her chick.
Edit: yes, indeed we are so blessed with many sponsors I got it wrong. Holger is not a chick, he is Danni's mate - so an adult. My apologies to Holger's sponsor - I will find a photo of him!