It's a struggle
This yellow-eyed penguin also struggled to get ashore that night working hard to overcome the backdraft of the waves. It ain't easy.
When the sea is pounding the beach it can be a bit of a struggle of our yellow-eyed penguins trying to find a footing and get to shore. Here is one struggling to get vertical with the big waves crashing onto the beach that evening.
The babies are back!
Well, not really babies anymore but acting like real penguins: our juvenile yellow-eyed penguins have been putting in the odd appearance in our colonies - here in the evening hanging out in the forest with a couple of adults. These youngsters have passed the biggest hurdle of their young lives and worked out how to feed themselves (unlike a certain other youngsters currently getting spoilt in rehab....update soon). Seeing juveniles now is very encouraging and we only glimpse them as we try not to be in the colony late so the birds can have the run of the place.
We had to re-arrange Stewie Junior's accommodation as his house was falling to bits and the morning sun was making it very hot. So we made Uncle Chang's box available to him and his mate, and they found it under the trees and moved right in.
The yellow-eyed penguins are prospecting now for the coming breeding season and so boxes that haven't been used for a while are now translocated to where we think the penguins might be hanging out and need one. It's paid off in this case and the incubating parent and later the chicks won't be so hot in November! Eggs are only 3-4 weeks away!
Nutty or clever?
Last weekend we had a self-admission into our rehab: this juvenile yellow-eyed penguin was found sitting patiently in our soft-release pen waiting to be picked up. He has been in rehab 5 times so far, last released on 15 July weighing 6kg. Now he weighed 3.3kg - he may have been able to catch some fish but it was obviously not enough and he probably thought that if he hangs out long enough in the soft-release pens there will be some fish in it for him eventually. And there was of course. What a clever bird. Here he is having another chance at life - and we will repeat this until he learns how to catch his own fish.
With all our rehab cases - even "lost" cases like this one - we never know whether the bird will eventually be a super-breeder like Diesel Dick (who was rehabilitated many times) and produce 30 or 40 chicks in his lifetime. So we put in the hard yards to getting him back up to 6kg again and releasing him for another chance. For now, it's R&R for his one and lots of fish!
Update on Kiri
Our recently re-named yellow-eyed penguin lady (she was referred to before as either 'the old girl' or 'Diesel's girl') - here on the left - has stayed home during the day with her mate taking a day off. They are both a little elderly - well over 20 years old and it's nice to see that they are doing so well they can take a day off fishing. We are hoping for more fertile eggs - and if they need a hand on the way raising the chicks, it will be gladly given! These two have super-genes and we want more offspring like them!
Cute movie star
And today for something a bit different: this New Zealand fur seal pup parked right in front of our camera and posed being very cute.
Not bothered by rabbits
It is the reality in New Zealand that rabbits tend to be just about everywhere and while they are not threatening yellow-eyed penguins directly they ring-bark trees and attract predators that could get a taste for penguin chicks. They are no threat to the penguins as you can see on this video, they share the landing and the penguins pretty much ignore them.
A bit of a panic
Something must have spooked these yellow-eyed penguins on their way home from the beach. Whatever it was it stayed out of sight of the camera but it certainly has these penguins hurrying along.