Hello friends and family
Nothing stays the same here for long. I spent Sunday tackling the “to do” list and was interrupted by a man who wanted to buy the camper. On Tuesday he came and took it away. I am very pleased to have it be used by someone else.
Our last breeding penguins have laid their second eggs and so incubation begins – there is less than 2 weeks until the first egg hatches, so we are very excited! We spent Thursday morning making 2 nests safer for the chicks when they arrive.
Dealing with amphibious species presents its own challenges in that it is very difficult to give an accurate head count. Penguins come and go to their own agenda – some stay out at sea and some stay home. The best way to track the population is to count nests. This gives a comparison over time to measure the size of the colony. Most Yellow-eyed penguins lay 2 eggs which may be fertile so even counting eggs is not as useful as counting nests.
Yellow-eyed penguins are philopatric – they return to their breeding sites, often to the detriment of their long-term survival. Our increase in nest numbers is because we have recruited 5 new breeding females – they are only 2 years old and 4 of them were hatched here. The other one moved here over a year ago. Our increase is not at the expense of other colonies.
Have a great week!