Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Penguins vs. Santa Claus

Image of the Day

Penguin Crossing
Originally uploaded by saumilshah
Yes, some penguins do actually make it out to the road here!

This sign is located at the Blue Eyed Penguin colony at Oamaru

Penguins get new pals

SCOTT MORGAN - Auckland City Harbour News

GROWING COLONY: Auckland Zoo keeper Michelle Whybrow interacts with blue penguin Coral and her new friends during feeding time.
CORAL the penguin has plenty of new friends after spending much of last year alone.
Five of Auckland Zoo's blue penguins died from unrelated causes during a six-month period between late 2008 and early 2009, leaving her as the sole survivor.
But she's since been joined by four new penguins to form a small colony.
There's male penguin Marlin, who lost a flipper before coming to the zoo, and more recently females Moki, Dori and an unnamed addition whose sex is yet to be determined.
The three most recent birds were rescued by members of the public after suffering various injuries on west coast beaches.
The colony will grow by a further three penguins next year when Napier's Marineland closes. Keeper Michelle Whybrow says it's fantastic for Coral to finally have some company again.
"From what I've seen they seem a lot more secure and happy when there are other birds around."
The increase in numbers could see breeding take place, although that's unlikely until the two males from Marineland join the colony.
Ms Whybrow says Coral and Marlin produced one egg during the last breeding season, but it broke.
The pair also started to build a nest during the last few months but the introduction of the new females disrupted that process.
A move to a redeveloped enclosure later next year also means it's unlikely there'll be any new penguin chicks this summer.
"The move will probably put them off," Ms Whybrow says.
The colony will remain in an enclosure away the public until then.
Mrs Whybrow says the zoo only keeps penguins that have been injured or sick after being rescued by the public.
"They're ones that won't survive in the wild."
But she says it's important for people to realise that if they see a penguin that's lost a lot of feathers, it may just be moulting rather than sick.
The penguins are sharing an enclosure with a shag and New Zealand dotterel.
All the birds will move into their new area, known as the sea lion and penguin shores, during summer.
"You don't want to give them everything new all at one time."
The exhibit will become `the coast' as part of the zoo's New Zealand development, Te Wao Nui, in September 2011.


Penguins hop on scales in Antarctic climate study

Scientists in the Antarctic have come up with an innovative scheme to weigh up the survival chances of threatened penguins.

28 Dec 2010
Specially designed measuring scales have been built to allow experts to gain vital information about the feeding habits of the Adelie penguin.
Three sets of scales have been disguised and strategically placed on the routes popular with the birds at a colony in the Antarctic.
The scales are triggered when the penguins waddle over them after returning from fishing trips out at sea.
The Adelie penguin, named after the wife of French explorer Admiral Durmont d'Urville, is relatively small with the typical black and white markings of the penguin family.
The bird, which can dive to a depth of 500ft, sports a striking white eye ring which makes it appear as though it is wearing goggles.
Scientists working at the Dumont d'Urville base on Pointe Geologie archipelago in the Antarctic can then monitor the data to gain detailed information about the colony.
Weighing the birds gives scientists an indication of the amount of food they have eaten, which is crucial for finding out how the species are adapting to changes in their habitat.
Penguins have suffered as a result of climate change with 11 of the world's 18 species decreasing in numbers, according to the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

How Ancient Penguins Got Their Cold Wx Coats

Emperor penguins are seen in this file photo supplied by Warner Independent Pictures.
AP Emperor penguins are seen in this file photo supplied by Warner Independent Pictures. 
Palaeeudyptes-one of the ‘giant’ penguins that lived during the Oligocene, about 28 million years ago-may have evolved a means of retaining heat when they were still living in warm climates, reveals a new study.
A key adaptation that helped modern penguins to invade the cold waters of Antarctica within the last 16 million years is the so-called humeral arterial plexus, a network of blood vessels that limits heat loss through the wings.

The plexus routes blood coming into the body from the wings past the blood travelling from the body to the wings. As such, the cooler blood from the wings, which get cold in the water, is heated up by warmer blood from the body, thus conserving heat.

To find out more about how this anatomical structure evolved, scientists investigated seven live penguin species and 19 fossil ones.

Surprisingly, they found the plexus arose at least 49 million years ago, when the planet was going through a warm “greenhouse Earth” phase due to vast amounts of global warming gases that got pumped into the atmosphere, perhaps by volcanism.

“I began this work thinking we would relate heat retention in penguins to the global cooling that took place at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary [about 34 million years ago], whereas in fact, penguins were cold-water-tolerant millions of years earlier,” Live Science quoted Daniel Thomas, a palaeontologist at the University of Cape Town, as saying.

The earliest known penguins to feature the plexus lived on the lost continent of Gondwana, on what is now Seymour Island in Antarctica.

The researchers suspect the plexus first evolved to help penguins save energy during long foraging trips in the cold water, as the structure evolved in concert with dramatic skeletal changes that promoted buoyancy and reduced drag, thus improving deep-diving and long-distance swimming.

As global climate cooled, the plexus then found a new use, proving key to the penguins’ invasion of Antarctic ice sheets.

The findings were published in the journal Biology Letters.

How to Approach or NOT Approach a Yellow Eyed Penguin

Region's wildlife: rules of engagement

A slumbering sea lion joins Christmas Day holidaymakers for an after-lunch siesta on St Clair Beach in 2007. Photo from ODT files.     

People and wildlife do not always mix. Otago beaches are a magnet for people in the summer holidays, but Rebecca Fox warns we should tread carefully.

There is a strong possibility anyone who visits an Otago beach this summer will encounter some of the region's special wildlife.
It does not matter whether it is a busy city beach or the more remote Otago Peninsula beaches: a yellow-eyed penguin, sea lion or seal could easily be taking a rest.
Recent cases where wildlife has been killed or injured in Otago, Southland and Kaikoura by people and dogs have highlighted the extreme end of what can go wrong when people and wildlife mix.
While calls to the Department of Conservation's Coastal Otago office have not increased, the Otago Daily Times has heard of situations where people have approached wildlife and hit or annoyed it unnecessarily.
However, Department of Conservation biodiversity assets programme manager David Agnew said most people respected and valued what was a huge asset to the region.
''There is only the occasional person who does not know how to behave,'' Mr Agnew said.
The basic message was to give the wildlife space and keep dogs on leashes, he said.
''It doesn't matter where it is around here; vulnerable wildlife can turn up on any beach. You cannot take for granted there isn't a yellow-eyed penguin on the beach.''
Dunedin's popular and often packed city beaches at St Clair and St Kilda were often just as popular with the odd sea lion, penguin or even leopard seal.
''They're very vulnerable and susceptible to dogs and if we judge them to be in danger we'll move them on to safer areas.''
Doc appreciated those people who kept an eye on the wildlife in their neighbourhood and reported any problems or issues, he said.
''At St Clair, dog owners that use the beach inform each other if they see anything on it. They value the wildlife in their back yard.''
While sea lions and fur seals were large enough to get to the water and out of the way of a dog, smaller, less mobile animals such as penguins and shags were not as ''quick on their feet'' and ''usually a dog attack is fatal for these''.
''People need to be extra vigilant with dogs not to let them off the leash unless they know they don't pose a risk.''
Similar encounters could be had by those who used the water recreationally, such as surfers, kayakers and anglers.
Some people who had had a negative experience in the past with wildlife, often did not view it favourably, he said.
But there were simple rules to follow: try not to engage the animals, don't make eye contact or make sudden moves, and if the animals did not lose interest, people should get out of the water for a time, he said.
It was important for people to remember these species were protected and sea lions' threat rating had been increased to critically endangered; the same threat level as Maui's dolphins.
''It's good people bear that in mind.''
People faced stiff penalties, including jail time and fines, if found guilty of killing or injuring protected marine wildlife.
The maximum penalty for killing protected wildlife was a $100,000 fine and/or up to a year's imprisonment.
The other risk facing wildlife was from fire in Doc reserves.
People needed to be extra vigilant about sticking to the fire season and keeping an eye out for fire in those places, he said.
If people had any concerns about wildlife or others' behaviour around it, they should call Doc on 0800-362-468.

Got Christmas $--Adopt a Penguin!

Christmas with the Ripley's Penguins

It's Christmas time and the 10th anniversary celebration at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

"This is out 10th anniversary for the aquarium and every year we brought in a temporary exhibit that would come in and leave. This year we thought it was time to put in a brand new permanent exhibit that would really WOW our customers." says Karl Thomas the Director of Public Relations.

They put in The Penguin Playhouse in April which has drawn thousands of people and it has really wow-ed the public.

Karl told us, "It's already been claimed to be one of the best in the world. We have an indoor part and an outdoor part so the penguins get to swim underneath and decide where they want to be."
Plus, you can get up close and personal with the penguins by climbing through the tunnels of the exhibit and popping up in a peek-a-boo portal right in the middle of the exhibit.

The penguins aren't the only thing you'll see this time of year; says Karl, "We have a five story musical Christmas tree and it's the tallest in Gatlinburg."

You can even spend your New Year's with some fine feathered friends at the 10th anniversary New Year's Eve party. There are still tickets available and can be purchased on the aquarium website at the bottom of the page.

Video available here at source 

Sea World Penguin News

Sea World Prepares to Open Penguin Encounter

Tue, 12/21/2010 - 7:31 AM
By Renee Soutar
Gold Coast, Australia - Sea World’s newest animal exhibit ‘Penguin Encounter’ is having the final touches applied in preparation for a Boxing Day opening.
The $12M exhibit will be an amazing frozen world, home to the world’s second largest penguin species, the King penguin as well as the agile Gentoo penguin.
Sea World Director of Marine Sciences Trevor Long said that Penguin Encounter is a world class exhibit which is sure to be a hit with children and adults alike.
“The Penguins are just amazing fun to watch; the Gentoos are very playful and active and are constantly jumping in and out of the water, while the Kings are more majestic in their behaviour.
“Penguin Encounter is a slice of Antarctica at Sea World, with up to 5 tonne of snow being created daily, plus icy rock formations and a crystal clear pool for the penguins to explore; it’s truly a spectacular exhibit,” he said.
To view Sea world's we page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to:



Perfect weather for Sea World's penguins

AS Sea World launched its icy penguin attraction, a cold snap put Coolangatta residents through their coldest December night in more than two decades.
The temperature dropped to just 12.6C on Tuesday  the coldest in 24 years and seven degrees below the long-term monthly average.
The Gold Coast Seaway also recorded a chilly 15.1C, the coolest night in two months and five degrees below the December average.
  Weather bureau senior forecaster Geoff Doueal said the same weather system that dumped snow on the Victorian alps had contributed to the unusually cool temperatures.
''It was all related to that cold air from Victoria and dry air coming from the southwest, which cleared the sky following the weekend rain, which led to the cooler overnight temperatures,'' Mr Doueal said.
''It was the first time we'd had that for a long time.''
The news was good timing for Sea World which unveiled its 12 new penguins  six king and six gentoo  in preparation for the official opening of its $12 million Penguin Encounter attraction on Boxing Day.
The penguins arrived from New Zealand two weeks ago and have spent that time becoming familiar with their new enclosure which is kept at a constant temperature of one degree below zero.
Sea World can also make up to three tonnes of snow a day to help replicate Antarctica and keeps the water in the display at a constant 5 degrees.


Cheyenne Mountain Penguins

And here are their names:
Sobe, male, 12 years old
Sprocket, male, 12 years old
Murphy, female, 16 years old
Jess, female, 30 years old
Mogley, female, 10 years old
Fudge, female, 24 years old
Colorado, male, 17 years old
Sally, female, 10 years old
Decker, female, 12 years old
Tasselhoff, male, 10 years old
Joe, male, 12 years old

Names courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Season's penguin march begins at Asahiyama Zoo

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

ASAHIKAWA, Hokkaido Pref. (Kyodo) The popular march of the penguins attraction began at Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido over the weekend.
News photo
Tourist attraction: King penguins march in front of visitors at Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido on Sunday. The parade, which continues daily until around mid-March, is a popular winter attraction as the birds walk about 500 meters between their pen and their feeding area. KYODO PHOTO
Visitors were delighted when the gate to the penguin pen opened, and 15 king penguins and two gentoos poured out onto a snowy field and covered the 500 meters to their feeding ground in about 40 minutes.
Some slid on their bellies.
"The penguins were very cute when they wobbled and flapped their wings," said Kiyoko Sugiyama, a 59-year-old children's nursery staffer from Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The winter event mimics the birds' behavior in the wild, in which they walk in groups to the sea to catch their food, according to the zoo.
The walk also helps improve their health ahead of the spring mating season, the zoo said.
The zoo plans to continue the event till about mid-March, when the snow disappears.

Dept. of Conservation urges more Time for Investigating Avian Diphtheria

Dept. of Conservation urges more Time for Investigating Avian DiphtheriaThe Department of Conservation has asked for more time to look into the problem of avian diphtheria that has affected hordes of yellow-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula. The outbreak of this condition has resulted in affecting five breeding sites at the Southern-end.
In order to resolve the growing problem, veterinarians from the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre, Massey University had met officials from the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Apart from that they also had a meeting with a scientist from the Penguin Place in Dunedin.
Chicks, which have already died of the avian flu, have been sent to the Massey Centre in Palmerston for an examination to check what could have gone wrong with them. The Avian Diphtheria has been affecting penguins since the year 2002 and has struck after a period of every two years.
Though, the current year has not been that fatal and Doc Ranger Mel Young expressed relief about the fact that this year was not as bad as had been expected earlier. The high rate of infection had however put the whole situation to be as very scary around a few weeks ago.
The reduction in the severity of the outbreak this year has been basically because of the untiring efforts of the officials, who were able to limit the spread of infection by providing timely treatment to chicks.


Mystery bird: king penguins,

Aptenodytes patagonicus

This lovely mystery bird is the namesake for a famous American bird artist and naturalist

King penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, photographed at Saint Andrews Bay, South Georgia Island.
Image: Alek O. Komarnitsky

Question: This stunning mystery bird shares a common name with a famous American bird artist and naturalist -- who was that person?

Response: These are adult king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, the second largest penguin species in the world. They share a common name with birder and author, Roger Tory Peterson, whose nickname among his birding pals was "King Penguin". Penguins were among Peterson's favorite bird families to paint and photograph. He took seventeen trips to Antarctica starting in 1957, and was critical in documenting that continent's indigenous birds, as well as the encroaching pollution that threatened their environment.
"Birds are far more than cardinals and orioles to brighten the garden," Peterson once said. "They are indicators of the environment -- a sort of ecological litmus."

You are invited to review all of the daily mystery birds by going to their dedicated graphic index page.
If you have bird images, video or mp3 files that you'd like to share with a large and (mostly) appreciative audience, feel free to email them to me for consideration.


Zoo's penguins are prescribed cod liver oil

... to help p-p-perk up their sex lives

By Bill Mouland
18th December 2010
In the Antarctic penguins usually have no problem p-p-picking up a partner during the breeding season.
But at a British zoo the birds have been getting some extra help – a daily dose of cod liver oil which makes them more attractive to the opposite sex.
During the three months of the mating season, each penguin gets one 400mg capsule a day popped in its mouth by a keeper who holds open its bill.
The pills, ordered over the internet, cost about 2p a time and help make the birds look better preened.
Mates for life: Rockhopper penguins are being given cod liver oil capsules to help perk up their sex lives
Mates for life: Rockhopper penguins are being given cod liver oil capsules to help perk up their sex lives
The move has proved so successful that Edinburgh Zoo has now become a world leader at breeding penguins in captivity and has been able to send birds as far away as Japan and New Zealand to enhance conservation programmes.
The penguins have even become an internet sensation – with thousands of people logging on to watch their playful antics as they currently enjoy snowy weather in Edinburgh to match their natural Antarctic home.
The zoo’s vet Romain Pizzi said: ‘The cod liver oil is given to the penguins during the breeding season as it helps to keep their preen gland healthy.
‘The preen gland is used by the birds during grooming and produces an oil to help condition their feathers. A healthy preen gland ensures the penguins are looking good so they attract a mate.’
In the wild, the penguins would have obtained the oil from their natural diet, which includes cod.
However, the zoo is bound by marine sustain¬ability guidelines which recommend it feeds the birds blue whiting and hake instead of cod. The liver oil pills are then used as a supplement.
Scientists have observed that penguins preen their feathers frequently because they must be in prime condition to ensure waterproofing and insulation. They preen with their bills, spreading oil through the feathers which is secreted from a gland near the base of the tail.
During the mating season they head for special nesting sites on the shoreline where the males stand with backs arched and wings outstretched.
Daily dose: The 'miracle' cod liver oil capsules being given to penguins at Edinburgh Zoo
Daily dose: The 'miracle' cod liver oil capsules being given to penguins at Edinburgh Zoo
The birds bond by touching necks and slapping each other on the back with their flippers. They usually remain mates for life.
Edinburgh has more than 200 penguins – one of the largest captive colonies in the world. It includes 187 gentoos, 19 rockhoppers and ten king penguins. King of all the kings is Sir Nils Olav, the mascot of the Norwegian Army.
Edinburgh Zoo spokesman Claire Richardson said: ‘The breeding ¬season starts at the beginning of March, when the keepers place nest rings in the birds’ enclosure.
‘They return to the same nests they used in previous years and usually pair up with the same partner.
‘Very often the keepers find the birds waiting on their nest position before the nest ring has gone down.
‘When the nest rings are in place, the birds start collecting small pebbles to build their nests.
‘The keepers provide piles of pebbles but the gentoos often prefer to steal likely-looking pebbles from their neighbours’ nests, inevitably causing arguments.
‘The first eggs are laid in April and the eggs hatch after a 35-day incubation. The chicks weigh between 70-100g (3-3.5oz), but very quickly put on weight so that by July they are 5kg (11lb) and ready to wean.
‘At this stage, the adults and chicks engage in “feeding chases’’, where the chicks chase their parents around the nest-site begging for food. This ensures the parents only ever feed their own chick.’
The zoo’s order for 24,000 cod liver oil capsules came as a surprise to Mitesh Soma, of Chemist¬ The 400mg pills cost £3.88 for 180.
‘I was stunned,’ said Mr Soma. ‘We had never had an order like it before.
‘They are certainly our most unusual customers, but we hope the treatment works through the mating season, and we get another order next year.
‘We’ve now been approached by other zoos to provide supplements for animals.
‘But I’m not anticipating dental floss orders for crocodiles!’


Friday, December 24, 2010

Image of the Day

Magellanic Penguin Preening

Magellanic Penguins are medium-sized penguins which grow to be 61-76 cm (24-30 in) tall and weigh between 2.7 kg and 6.5 kg (5.9-14.3 lbs), with the males being larger than the females and weight dropping while each parent nurtures its young.

Adults have black backs and white stomachs. There are two black bands between the head and the breast, with the lower band being in an inverted horseshoe shape. The head is black and has a broad white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, and joining on the throat. Chicks and juveniles are grey-blue on their backs, with a more faded grey-blue color on their chest. In the wild, Magellanic Penguins can live up to 25 years, while ages of 30 years have been reached in captivity.

Young birds usually have a blotched pattern on their feet, with this 'blotching' fading as they age. Older birds of over ten years usually have solid black feet.

Like the other species of penguins, the Magellanic Penguin has very rigid wings used to 'fly' under water.

Sea Bird Aviary
Bronx Zoo New York

Image of the Day (yesterday)

Originally uploaded by cdent

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This Week's Pencognito! visit Jen and all the pengies here!!

Up close and personal with the quarter of a million who inhabit Britain's furthest flung colony

March of the penguins

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 8:14 AM on 18th December 2010

P-p-p-posing for their close-ups, these are the penguins who live on the remote island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic.
And while pictures of the inhabitants of Britain's most outlying colony are common - these are possibly the most stunning ever taken.
British photographer, Nick Garbutt, became very friendly with his subjects after travelling to witness the massive colony, made up of around a quarter of a million birds.


Penguin diphtheria puzzle for scientists

By John Gibb on Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Click photo to enlarge
Discussing plans to help yellow-eyed penguins hit by an outbreak of avian diphtheria on Otago Peninsula are (from left) Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray, Massey University vet and lecturer Kerri Morgan and Department of Conservation ranger Mel Young. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Discussing plans to help yellow-eyed penguins hit by an outbreak of avian diphtheria on Otago Peninsula are (from left) Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray, Massey University vet and lecturer Kerri Morgan and Department of Conservation ranger Mel Young. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Further scientific research is needed to determine the cause of the avian diphtheria which has recently affected yellow-eyed penguin chicks on Otago Peninsula, the Department of Conservation says. Five breeding sites, all at the southern end of the peninsula, have been affected by the outbreak.
Wildlife vets from the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre at Massey University met Doc staff, local vets, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust members and a scientist from Penguin Place in Dunedin this week to discuss the latest outbreak.
At Boulder beach, more than 60% of the chicks showed signs of infection, 33 chicks died and several were missing -amounting to about 36% losses.
Chicks were also affected at Sandfly Bay and dead chicks were sent to the Massey centre in Palmerston North for postmortem examinations.
Avian diphtheria has hit the penguin chicks almost every second year since the first outbreak was noticed in 2002.
Doc ranger Mel Young was relieved the latest chick death toll had not, thus far, been as high as initially feared.
A "pretty scary situation" had arisen at Boulder beach several weeks ago because of the extensive infection there.
Intervention by providing antibiotics and rehydration fluids had since helped reduce chick losses, and the limited distribution of the infection was a positive feature, she said.
There had been a few early losses at other peninsula sites but most penguins survived the most critical period.
Breeding sites in the Catlins appeared unaffected and North Otago chicks seemed to be doing well, despite a few early losses.
It is believed the penguin chicks might have caught a virus and contracted the diphtheria as a secondary disease.
Doc's biodiversity assets programme manager for Coastal Otago, David Agnew, said the Dunedin meeting had heard that much information about the disease had been collected since 2002.
Analysis of this data had illustrated "the complex nature of the issue" and highlighted the benefit that more extensive research could bring "to solve the mystery of what's causing the disease", he said.
Penguin trust general manager Sue Murray said more funding was needed for studies to clarify exactly what was causing the disease problems every second year.
An application by Massey University for some state funding for a PhD student to study the diphtheria outbreak was unsuccessful last year, but other funding options were being considered.
Massey vet Kerri Morgan said a more extensive study would examine the wider influence of variables, such as weather and sea patterns, as they had not previously been considered.


Jim Carrey and friends

By Melissa Molina on December 17, 2010

Normally you don't see Jim Carrey chatting it up with a penguin, but this is a different case since he is in the middle of filming his lead role in the Mark Waters film "Mr. Popper's Penguins." In the film he plays Mr. Popper, a businessman who begins to change after he inherits six penguins, transforming his apartment into a winter wonderland as his professional side starts to unravel. Does anybody else wonder why the hell he's randomly kicking a soccer ball? For some reason I'm under the impression that it is one of the penguins? Yes, I have a strange imagination.

"Mr. Popper's Penguins" is based off the children's novel written by Richard Atwater, penned for the big screen by Sean Anders, Jared Stern and John Morris. The cast for the new comedy includes Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, Kelli Barrett and Madeline Carroll.

If you want to check out Jim Carrey on the big screen again, check your local theater listings to see if they're playing "I Love You Phillip Morris."


Image of the Day

yet more cleaning
Originally uploaded by Derek Pettersson

Friday, December 17, 2010

SeaWorld Shows Off 16 New Penguin Arrivals

Reported by: San Diego 6 News Team
Last Update: 12/16

Penguin chicks displaying their juvenile plumage. (Photo: SeaWorld)
SAN DIEGO - SeaWorld is celebrating 16 new arrivals for the holidays at its Penguin Encounter.

Sixteen penguin chicks, ranging in age from 5 to 35 days old, have hatched at the marine-life park.

"They will go into the Encounter when they have their waterproof feathers or juvenile plumage at about six to ten weeks," according to SeaWorld spokesperson Alexandra Kuty.

The new arrivals represent three different species, Adélie, gentoo and macaroni penguins.

A three month old emperor penguin is described as the park's most celebrated chick.  It's "now living in the Penguin Encounter in a private corral to help the chick and other penguins acclimate to each other," said Kuty.

Curious older penguins watch a three month old emperor penguin in a private corral. (Photo: SeaWorld)

The youngest chicks gets a special formula of ground herring fillets, krill, minerals, vitamins and water.  The older chicks are weaning off formula and are eating mostly fish, according to SeaWorld.   The feedings keep the staff busy with meals five times a day for the youngest and three times a day for the older chicks

The baby penguins are among more than 500 penguin chicks that have been hatched at SeaWorld San Diego since 1980, where aviculturists have pioneered techniques for hand-raising penguin chicks.


Image of the Day

Originally uploaded by mgsbird
Chinstrap Penguins on their way to the sea near Orne Harbour, antarctica.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sky, Attenborough to make 3D penguins film

Wednesday, December 15 2010, 9:10am EST
By Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter
Sky and Sir David Attenborough have extended their partnership to create a new 3D film documenting the lives of king penguins on the edge of Antarctica.

On Christmas Day, the Sky 3D channel will host the premiere of Flying Monsters 3D, a documentary narrated by Attenborough on giant pterosaurs which lived 200 million years ago.

Now,t he wildlife broadcasting legend will front a further documentary for Sky. Titled Penguin Island 3D, the film offers an intimate look at the trials and tribulations facing penguins living on the South Georgia islands.

Produced by Atlantic Productions, the feature documentary will premiere on Sky 3D, before being released in cinemas. It will also be aired in 2D on the new Sky Atlantic channel.

"South Georgia is one of the most extraordinary and least appreciated places for wildlife in the world," said Attenborough.

"King penguins are particularly interesting because they are so big that the chicks can't grow to adult dimensions and strength to go to sea within a year. The landscape and wildlife of South Georgia is very dramatic, and I think it will look absolutely mind-blowing in 3D."

Stuart Murphy, director of Sky Atlantic, added: "We are thrilled to collaborate with Sir David Attenborough once more for such an exciting project. Having seen just how stunning Flying Monsters 3D looked on screen, we had no hesitation in creating even more groundbreaking 3D content for customers.

"Commissions of this scale and ambition demonstrate Sky's commitment to bringing its customers some of the most innovative and compelling content around. It also highlights the exciting creative opportunities on offer as program making and technological innovation continues to collide."

Alongside Flying Monsters, the Sky 3D channel will also give a world 3D TV premiere to blockbuster movie Avatar as part of its 2010 Christmas schedule.

Dogs put on tighter leash for penguins' sake

TOUGHER restrictions on dog-owners exercising their pets near the nesting areas of Manly’s endangered little penguin colony have been introduced in the hope they will prevent more attacks.
Manly Council voted unanimously on Monday night to establish tighter controls following the deaths of seven little penguins at Federation Point in a dog attack 12 days ago.
Cr Cathy Griffin called for more consistent regulation of dog “on-leash” areas across Manly promenades - including Federation Point - with a “zero-tolerance” approach for any infringements.
The council also voted to upgrade fencing on the Manly Cove boardwalk to better protect the penguins and ban dogs from the entire Federation Steps area.
It called on the Environment Department to declare Federation Point a “critical habitat” zone, which would offer the animals greater protection than the council-designated “wildlife protection zone” operating there.
Manly State Liberal MP Mike Baird echoed the request in a recent letter to Environment Minister Frank Sartor.
“The little penguins are a treasured part of the local community and the volunteer wardens do an outstanding job providing protection,” he said.
“However, their efforts deserve to be supported by every possible measure available to both state and local governments.”
A spokesman for the minister said the department would explore options for better protecting the penguins’ nesting sites.
“This will include working with Manly Council, wildlife experts and the community to investigate reviewing or amending the critical habitat zones to include Federation Point,” he said.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said the department was waiting for DNA test results from the penguins’ wounds to determine the breed of dog responsible for the attack.


Phillip Island Newsletter!


Thursday 16 December

In other news

We have Hooded Plovers chicks at Kitty Miller Bay – a first for the season!

Animal alert…with summer now here and lots of traffic, we urge people to drive carefully on the Island to help protect our wildlife – in particular our Little Penguins!

Helping nature and the community… the last financial year the not-for-profit, self-funded Nature Parks re-invested $2.3 million into research and environment back into the Nature Parks and Phillip Island, and $1.1 million into marketing the Nature Parks and Phillip Island as a destination!

New Penguin Foundation Ambassadors – the Wiggles and author Di Morrissey

Facebook – are you a Nature Parks fan? ….click here to become a fan and stay up-to-date with Nature Park news.

Opening times on Christmas Day - Penguin Parade,the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island and the Nobbies Centre are all open on Xmas Day from 2.00pm
Don't miss out - pre-book your tickets for the Penguin Parade over summer! Click here to pre-book and for all ticketing information.
Penguin Island was watched by more than 4 million viewers every week in the UK and Scotland! In Australia weekly figures peaked at 630,000. The series will be shown in the USA and France in 2011. DVDs of the series are available for sale at the Nature Parks. 
Summer Holiday Program...
Over 20 fun and educational activities for kids and adults alike!
(click on Education) for a brochure or email to make a booking or call our Education Rangers on 03 59512826.
Why not give an ‘Adopt a Little Penguin’ gift for Christmas? Visit


If you have feedback or queries, contact our marketing department at or phn +61 3 5951 2800.

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penguin news

Most penguins are currently either sitting on eggs or raising their chicks.  As many of the chicks are now fully fledged, we expect to see more birds re-laying before Christmas.
We are very pleased to see numbers of penguins crossing the beach at the Penguin Parade over the last 12 months, is higher than in the previous two years.  We continue to track penguins at sea using two different tecniques including satellite tracking and GPS data logging.  The satellite tracking indicates that some penguins are feeding in an area 20-30 km south-west of Phillip Island, whilst the GPS tracking shows many penguins are spending most of their efforts foraging around Cape Woolamai on a daily basis.  Results show that some penguins are diving up to 40 metres, with most dives between 20 and 30 metres.  When their stomachs are full, they head home to feed their young!  Busines as usual!

Summerland Peninsula penguin population

Our Little Penguin monitoring is also showing that with the Summerland Peninsula buyback complete and the final existing houses being removed, penguins are moving back into the newly revegetated areas where penguin boxes have been placed on the Estate!  This is now a safe habitat for them as dogs and humans are no longer a threat, and the fox eradication program has seen the fox population virtually removed.  The habitat and revegetation work is continuing...

New Penguin Parade boardwalk

A new 400 metre interperative boardwalk has opened at the Penguin Parade, offering visitors more wildlife and environmental information, and great new viewing opportunities as they walk towards the Penguin Parade areas, including the Shearwater nesting areas.

Koala news

The annual koala catch at the Koala Conservation Centre (currently home to 35 koalas, including a number of joeys) took place in November. The annual catch is carried out to monitor the health of our koala population. Each koalas is given a detailed health check including weighing, measuring head length, teeth wear, muscle tone, eye and pouch checks (if they have a pouch), micro-chipping those that need it, plus Chlamydiophyla swabbing for some.  We are pleased to report that our koala population is doing very well – including the grand old dame of the Koala Conservation Centre, Merriki, who is now in her 18th year, and who is once again successfully raising her most recent joey!
The wetlands adjacent the Koala Conservation Centre is thriving after the abundance of rain over the last few months, resulting in an amazing array of birdlife and activity! This offers fantastic additional wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors.

Whats New!

WILDTHING Summer promotion!
Visitors  who purchase a 3 Park Pass during summer, are eligible to win fabulous WEEKLY family holiday prizes at All Seasons Phillip Island Resort, MONTHLY international prizes to China, India and Borneo, and the MAJOR prize – a sensational trip to the Galapagos Islands! Visit
 for all information, terms and conditions.
New MP3 Audio Guides
Phillip Island Nature Parks now offers visitors MP3 Audio Guides in 4 languages (English, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and German). These Audio Guides provide 120 minutes of fascinating commentary on the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Nobbies Centre. They are available for purchase with a 3 Park Pass for $20 each, or for $15 with a Penguin Plus upgrade.