No one could accuse penguins of being graceful on land - and some are a little less so. But they always comport themselves with dignity and get right back up!
This is part of being a yellow-eyed penguin and we are expecting the fighting to get worse for a while as the males are trying to sort out who gets to have a female this coming season. The competition is stiff because there are two males for every female in our colonies and some just don't get to breed.
While the adult in the foreground has photo-bombed this footage, watch the edge of the water - there are five penguins messing round in the water and they are getting tossed about a wee bit before they find their feet and come ashore. It ain't easy to bridge their two worlds!
This recently adopted juvenile is what we call "a repeat offender" - not that he offends anybody. Bubba is struggling because he has Malaria and has come back into rehab a couple of times after sitting in the colony looking sad and skinny. We re-test his blood and sure enough the Malaria parasite is back. So he is treated again, fattened up and we'll give it another go. At least he is sticking around in our colony so we can help him again if he feels ill.
We are always on the look-out for any chicks from last season (juveniles) and get very excited when we spot one. Here is one leaving with three adults. Sometimes we see adults beating up juveniles and the young ones have to learn to fit in and defend themselves. We are not sure what that is all about, but it looks like this juvenile has been accepted into the colony.
We had a really late pre-moult white-flippered penguin in our rehab in June. S/he came in with severely compromised feathers - looking blond instead of blue/grey, but with loads of food s/he put on weight and started the moult.
Our wee blond white-flippered penguin is doing well - and has an excellent appetite! Once the last of those old and worn feathers have fallen off and s/he is waterproof s/he can be released to swim back to Banks Peninsula. Better late than never!
Sometimes getting off the beach and into the sea is a bit tricky - one of these yellow-eyed penguins is getting tossed about a bit by an unexpectedly large wave. No problem though!
A group of yellow-eyed penguins walked down to the edge of the water (no, not the start to a joke - they really did) to welcome one of their own - who just said hello and walked on by......! It is wonderful to watch these groups of so-called antisocial penguins messing around on the beach like this! This is healthy, this is good for them and natural!
We have had some wild weather with big seas, rain and hail. These yellow-eyed penguins appear to be having a discussion whether to go fishing or not - sit on the beach, come back to the landing and finally it looks like they decided they were hungry and head away into the wild ocean. It is their home too and they are formidable swimmers - so maybe the matter discussed wasn't so much "shall we be brave and go" but having a bit of a social time before heading off. Sometimes we wish we could speak penguin to know what they are saying to each other!!