At this time of year many males will stay at home guarding the nest site while the female goes fishing. She comes home in the evening to spend the night with her mate at the nest site. In the meantime the males are busy gathering nesting material and bringing it to her as gifts - the penguin equivalent of a dozen red roses! After she leaves he will be in and around the nest collecting more grass and twigs for the site and his presence and the beautifully built nest bowl ensures she has a place to lay her eggs when the time comes.
Leave only footprings
Here is a small 'waddle' of yellow-eyed penguins just up from the beach having a rest after a day's fishing. You can see their footprints in the orange beach sand behind them. This spot is not frequented by many penguins but sitting on the foreshore like this these adults are effectively advertising the spot to passing penguins that may come ashore to check it out.
This little female juvenile yellow-eyed penguin was already home at lunchtime and we found her sitting here dreaming in the afternoon sun. It must be good fishing out there for her to be home so early - good news for the penguins: life is easy!
Out of my way - coming through
Watching yellow-eyed penguins returning from sea is always a real pleasure - and comical. Watch for the one that changes his mind and rushes back to the sea knocking over another adult. There are 2 juveniles in this group - if you look carefully one has a dimple of an old injury on his chest and has probably been rehabilitated in the past few months. It is wonderful to see it behaving naturally as part of the group and being nice and fat. Enjoy!
There was a bit of a swell the other day and big waves were washing ashore at our penguin beach. These five yellow-eyed penguins had just made a successful 'landing' but are eyeing suspiciously what is coming up behind them: the left one probably thinks he can outrun the waves but the others are already turning to face it! Watching these birds dealing with the tumultuous seas is truly inspiring: they are true sea-birds!
Like ducks in a row
A group of yellow-eyed penguins returning from fishing - spot the odd one out! This juvenile was but a vague thought about breeding in the eye of his parents only a year ago and here he is being a real penguin returning with a belly full of fish after a day's fishing. Such a delightful sight giving us hope for the future of these birds!