Hello friends and family
The disastrous start to the week finally righted itself when the salmon smolt arrived. We used over 180 Kgs of borrowed fish to tide us over and had run out when the truck arrived. I ordered more on Wednesday!
By Wednesday we had 76 penguins in care; 48 Yellow-eyed penguin chicks, 13 Juveniles and 8 adults. They were kept company by 3 Fiordland Crested, 1 Erect Crested, a Little Penguin and 2 White Flippered penguins.
On Thursday we began the great emigration. 11 chicks were taken to soft release. Their heads were measured, and we took 5 girls and 5 boys to soft release and one with a head measurement in the middle. These were the oldest chicks. They will stay there for a week being fed once a day; the door will be opened, and they will fledge off into the ocean for several months. What a milestone! It was a busy day. We had the Hui in the morning and then took blood from 5 penguins that Elaine tested. Jan and Anne did the trap rounds, catching 3 predators and rebaiting the traps at the Moeraki colony. They rescued 3 penguins, one with foot injuries and 2 with feather damage.
We did the rounds again on Saturday and found 3 large penguins that were left to moult in the wild and one underweight juvenile. The chicks have settled into the soft release pen and are easy to feed. (so far!) Our trial of the portable soft release pen has been a great success and so we will be able to put chicks in there next week. We do still have 76 penguins in care as the first crested has been released.
Have a great week!