A good season for chicks

The Little Penguins at Penneshaw are moulting and will soon be heading out to sea to fatten up. The penguins need about a month eating full time at sea to make up for the energy they have lost during breeding and chick rearing. Soon there won’t be many penguins to see in the burrows around the Penguin Centre (February is a very lean month for penguin viewing).

Most chicks are already out feeding and growing up. It has been a very good year for chicks at Penneshaw which should produce a record total (in recent times) of 28 chicks.

One chick near the Penguin Centre lost its father (maybe to a snake) but its mother is bringing the chick up on her own.

Penguins at risk from fishing nets

A new article on The Conversation has some alarming news about penguins. It begins:

Fishing nets pose a serious risk to the survival of penguin species, according to a new global review of the toll taken by “bycatch” from commercial fishing. Fourteen of the world’s 18 penguin species have been recorded as fishing bycatch.

Coming ashore to nest

The Penneshaw Little Penguins, which have been out at sea feeding over the last couple of weeks, are now coming back to shore.

They’ll often stay ashore for about week and then go out to feed again. Little Penguins mainly eat pilchards and anchovies. They are fattening up in preparation for breeding.

About 12 pairs have set themselves up in Penneshaw so far, and more could come later. The earliest pairs should start laying eggs soon but we won’t be seeing any chicks out of the nest for at least a couple of months.

Penguins tours start at 6.30pm and 7.30pm from the Penneshaw Penguin Centre every night from tomorrow night.

Season close

Penneshaw Penguin Centre tours will conclude for the season on Saturday night, 14 January.

At this time of year, Little Penguins take to the sea for about a month to eat and restore their condition and body fat after breeding and raising chicks.

But the good news is that the two Hooded Plovers chicks are growing big and strong on nearby Hog Bay beach.

Tours will begin again on Wednesday, 1 March 2017.