Why sit in your house alone when you can have company. Here a yellow-eyed penguin pair is hanging out in a house, trying it on for size. It may be the right one for breeding, it may not. Ultimately it is the female who will choose where to lay her eggs and the male has to ensure that she has choice of at least one or two.
The yellow-eyed penguins choose to sit with each other during the winter months as they return almost daily from fishing to spend the night ashore and do their preening and resting. They are very sociable and do their penguin 'thing' together in groups.
This group of yellow-eyed penguins is standing around together on the beach near their colony and having a rest after their day's fishing. They preen a bit, they wander over to the next penguins to say hello and just hang out being sociable.
After resting on their rock for while these yellow-eyed penguins decided to leave - together to head to shore and start their trip back up into the colony. They have distinct group behaviour and they choose each others' company rather than being separate and single.
This group of yellow-eyed penguins is resting on a rock a little offshore from their beach and have assembled here. They are very sociable and choose to be with each other rather than alone. So they hang out and preen after a day's fishing.
Our penguin spy cam has captured the yellow-eyed penguins leaving early in the morning to go fishing. They leave in groups on this occasion but it is unknown whether they stay together during the day. We are guessing they don't as they will return to the colony alone. We have seen groups arrive back but birds hang about in the surf for a while waiting for others and then they come ashore in a wee group.
Over winter we create a lot of new nesting opportunities for the penguins in our colonies to ensure all penguins have plenty of choices. We need two types of nest boxes:
a rectangular box for the open pasture that will provide shade for the whole family - $75
an A-frame for sites in the forest that has natural shade - $50
We aim to raise funds to construct 10 rectangular boxes and 20 A-frames. Please consider contributing. If you 'buy' either type of box you can specify to have your name on it and if a penguin is using it and we can manage to take a photo we will post it on FB.
We had a rude wake-up on Saturday morning when we found our donation box broken open - again - and all donations were gone. We empty it twice a week and people donate very little in the winter months, but nonetheless we think they got away with about $25. It's such a shame but fortunately our penguin donation box was not smashed and we could easily repair the damaged lock. We are very disappointed that people drive all the way out to Katiki Point to steal from a penguin charity.
Sometimes the walk home from the the beach is exciting and lots is happening, like a scattered party or everyone is milling about courting and showing off - and then there are evenings when everyone just hangs out and preens and then quietly makes their way home. Here the usual party spot is more tranquil and there is much preening among the yellow-eyed penguins having just returned from fishing. Maybe it was a hard day at the office!?!
Take a bunch of penguins just back from fishing, line them up along the foreshore and add enthusiastic NZ fur seal pups - and voila: the party is scattered.