Every day that passes our yellow-eyed penguin chicks are growing and are getting older and we now can see the oldest poking out from under the parent's belly. We are in the middle of dealing with Diphtheria - and it is really, really bad again this year. Not all chicks so far have lived but we are doing our best. Give it another week and we will be able to update all our lovely sponsors on how yours are doing and what happened in your box or with your adult - and those of you who have sponsored a chick, we will be able to choose one for you soon and let you know who they are! Thank you all for your patience - more info on the way!
We are almost through hatching in our yellow-eyed penguin colonies and have many small chicks. Almost all of them need to be treated for Diphtheria, so it's head down and bum up for everyone trying to save the chicks. If they die, they won't fledge and there won't be any chance of young ones starting to breed to replace the breeders that die - and then the population will never recover. Needless to say that a ferret passing by Stitches' nest is a problem we don't need on top of this. We had a camera on her nest because a pair of penguins that had failed were spotted in the vicinity and we wanted to see if they are being a problem. Now traps are out and our wonderful rabbit hunter has been notified. Lets hope there are enough young rabbits, mice and rats about for the ferret not to take an interest in the young penguin chicks!
We are in the middle of hatching season for our yellow-eyed penguins so here is an update of the sponsored penguins and boxes for all you lovely people who have adopted them (the photo is of no one in particular and it's from last season - our chicks currently are way too small still!)
Ciara: 2 fertile eggs
Bri: 2 chicks hatched, but one has died
Stitches: 1 chick, 1 egg to hatch (fertile)
Danni: 2 chicks
Poppy: 1 chick, other egg unlikely to hatch
Vivek: 2 fertile eggs
Lesley: 1 chick, 1 egg to hatch (fertile)
Anna, Stewie Junior (Uncle Chang): 2 chicks
Chicky (Flipper Palace): 2 chicks
Jackson: 2 chicks
Drobne Kuca box: 2 chicks
Bequette: 2 fertile eggs
Morgan: 2 chicks
Janet: 2 fertile eggs
Thor: 2 fertile eggs
Norwegian Cabin: 2 fertile eggs
Penny Box 4: 2 fertile eggs
Shannon (Spitfire Rise): 2 fertile eggs
Odd Simen: 2 chicks
TeamKokoMelo box: 2 fertile eggs
Hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone.... more updates coming up, it's changing daily. Unfortunately we have had our first Diphtheria cases but we are onto it.
.... and no, they don't pop out of the egg this size! They are so tiny and fragile and their parents are so protective of them that it is near impossible to get a decent photo of a freshly hatched chick. So here is a photo of a chick fast-forward to 4 weeks old. Our first arrival were Stewie Junior's chicks: he is with the female who always lays early so they were first with eggs and now are first with chicks. A couple other pairs had the eggs pipping yesterday - they will be parents today! The next generation is on the way! Fingers and toes crossed......
Not much is happening in our colonies right now. Everyone is happily sitting on their eggs - real or not. It's like the calm before storm. Once the chicks start hatching - very soon - the parents will be so much busier and that is when things are difficult for us: it's Diphtheria time. Fingers crossed it's not going to be a bad year. We will see.