murres live beyond the Monterey Bay out on the open ocean. They are not
commonly seen because they rarely come to shore, and only show up on
land if they are breeding or injured.
called the Monterey County SPCA at 2 p.m. and asked their wildlife
rescuers to check on the common murre at Lovers Point and make sure it
County SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said rescuers determined that
the young bird was dehydrated and tired, so they brought it back to the
wildlife center for rehabilitation.
said common murres are migrating along the Central Coast right now, and
the bird was likely exhausted from trying to migrate during Wednesday
and Thursday's stormy weather.
Anyone who spots a marine bird in distress along the shore should call the SPCA at 831-373-2631.
might be easy to mistake this bird for a penguin, with its white belly,
dark head and wings, and upright posture. But common murres aren’t even
related to penguins," the Monterey Bay Aquarium wrote on its website.
"Common murres are seabirds that spend eight or nine months of each year
continuously at sea. Those short wings are perfect for diving and
The chicks were born Thanksgiving weekend at Moody Gardens, weighing in at a minuscule 23.4 and 11.8 grams, respectively.
Their arrival marks the eighth year of successful breeding of the
aquarium's gentoo population. Gentoos, native to Antarctica, are known
for their white-feather caps and colorful feet and beaks.
"We first discovered these guys in mid-October, and we were sort of
keeping an eye out for them to hatch," Moody Gardens spokeswoman Stephanie Chan
said. "As our biologists were cleaning and changing out the light bulbs
and doing their daily routines on Thanksgiving Day, they noticed a
chick when one of the parents stood up. The little guy just popped out."
Two days later, a smaller sibling hatched and burrowed into the
warmth of its parents' protection. The chicks currently weigh 344 and
Facilities with penguins in captivity have generally good breeding
results. During this year's mating season, staff members witnessed and
captured the species' various mating rituals on video, including bowing
and the collecting of stones for nests. Gentoos are easy to spot in the
penguin exhibit because of their distinctive yellow feet.
"It's kind of a Christmas tradition here. We have chicks around
Christmastime each year, and we fully expect these chicks are going to
do very well," said assistant curator Diane Olsen. "They're going to grow up to be adults here in the next few months, and they'll join the colony with all the other birds."
The chicks are expected to be fully grown in eight weeks. Identifying
the gender of gentoo penguins is extremely difficult because of their
identical features. Feather samples will be used to test DNA to confirm
Because Moody Gardens is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,
the pair could be sent to other facilities throughout the country to
promote breeding. But for now, they're best left to the care of their
"The chicks are on exhibit for guests to see, and if they come and
look in the center, they can see the chicks," Olsen said. "You might see
the parents feeding them, so we encourage everyone to come to Moody
Gardens and take a look."
This isn’t a penguin update but I could sure use a computer
vote from you, your friends, and many, many children. The Global Penguin
Society that we started a few years ago and the Penguin Project have teamed up and
our funding from Disney depends on the number of votes. Please go to the
website and vote for the penguins.
Helping the penguins has never been so easy. Disney Amigos
por el Mundo is letting the public vote on which project to dedicate their
conservation funds. The penguins need your vote.As you know penguins are a species facing
great perils. The Global Penguin Society and the Penguin Project needs your
votes to get help from Disney to conduct research into where and how penguins
live, and determine the best ways to care for these animals at sea and on land.
One of the best ways to help penguins is through educational workshops and
personal experiences that change people’s behavior. Our funds will help with
research but also the funds will bring children that live near penguin colonies
out to learn about the penguins so they can become their guardians. There are several projects that are competing
for Disney funds so we urge you to vote for the penguins.
VOTE NOW by going to the link below and clicking on the “Proteger
a los pingüinos” box underneath the Emperor penguin picture.
UPSETTING SCENE: North-West Parks and Wildlife officer Tina Alderson
on the beach at Camdale where a number of dead penguins were recently
discovered. Picture: Grant Wells.
IT IS a sad day when 15 little penguins are discovered dead on a beach.
This happened recently on Camdale beach.
"We had a call from a resident that there were dead penguins," North-West Parks and Wildlife officer Tina Alderson said.
"They collected the carcasses for us and brought them in the next day.
"(The attack) may have happened over a couple of days - it's hard to determine," Ms Alderson said.
Alderson said the carcasses were sent off to the animal health lab in
Launceston for an autopsy, with the results indicating the Penguins
were killed in a dog attack.
"It's unfortunate because it is breeding season as well. Some of those penguins may have had eggs or chicks."
Alderson said dog owners should not allow their animals to roam -
particularly at this time of the year with penguins nesting.
"If you do see a dog roaming in the area, call a dog control officer," she said.
you stumble across dead penguins, contact the nearest Parks and
Wildlife service office, or call the Biodiversity Conservation Branch
If you come across an injured penguin in your
travels, Ms Alderson said the best way to deal with it was to place it
in a well-ventilated box and in a quiet, cool place and contact your
local vet or a wildlife carer.
The Gentoos stay on the island all year round, and there is always a
lot of variation in when they start to breed, but this year they got
going particularly early and have now finished laying. One of our annual
tasks is to count every Gentoo nest on the island which is a big task
completed over a couple of days. Counting penguins is a bit of a dark
art as is it incredibly difficult to work out who is actually on an egg,
and who is just having a lie down, and also to keep track of where you
have got to, and generally involves lots of descriptions involving ‘that
stone next to the penguin...’!
Ruth and Rob counting the gentoos at Natural Arch
Unlike the gentoos the comical looking macaroni penguins with
their bushy yellow ‘eyebrows’ head to sea for the winter, leaving behind
vast empty swathes of hillside where their colonies used to be. Since
they left back in April not a single one has been seen until the 17th of
the month when we saw the first few males returning to colony Big Mac
to claim their territories. Over the following two weeks the rest of the
males have returned and the colonies are now full of thousands of macs
defending their territories and awaiting their mates, it is amazing to
see such a rapid influx of penguins!
A very small section of Big Mac, this is only the males so the density will double in the next fortnight.
We also had an unusual visit from another member of the penguin
kingdom this month, when an Adelie was seen mingling with the gentoos at
Square Pond. Adelies are generally restricted to Antarctic waters, only
very rarely being sighted around South Georgia. It was great to see
one, this is the first I have seen in 4 years of working on South
Georgia. He was a fine chap, and very amenable to the paparazzi style
photography he inevitably received from all on base, although he might
have chosen a better backdrop than muddy tussock!
C,C,Click at a Penguin: Several groups from the KEP science
base took the opportunity to walk or ski the long trek across the Barff
Peninsula to visit the wildlife of St Andrews Bay during the elephant
seal breeding season. Despite heavy packs there is always room for a
good camera if you are going to this amazing spot, and Alastair Wilson’s
efforts to carry his photographic gear all the way there were paid off
with this amazing shot of the Milky Way over the king penguin colony at
Photo Alastair Wilson
Krill in the Cove: There has been a lot of krill in and
around King Edward Cove in October. Day after day the krill could be
seen in the shallows, and in places washed up in heaps on the beaches,
and the local birds had feasted so heavily on the bounty that they could
eat no more and sat in big flocks all around the shore. At night the
krill were emitting phosphorescence in the wake of the boats.
Krill heaped up on the beach. Photo Alastair Wilson
RIGHT AT HOME: Two little blue penguins at a nest in August.
Man-made love nests are helping Wellington’s little blue penguin population thrive.
Wellington Zoo and Forest and Bird have finished putting out more
than 200 nest boxes along the South Coast, and is now monitoring how
well they are used.
The next inspection of the boxes will be on Wednesday, but Zoo
spokeswoman Libby Callander said they had proved popular since they
first started being introduced three years ago.
Little blue penguins nest in pairs, and two chicks had emerged from every nest boxes peguins settled in last year.
"They might not look that comfy, but they actually really like them."
The wooden boxes have small entrance, but provide shelter and protection from predators such as dogs.
Placing the boxes along the coast also enables the penguins to find
safe nests without having to venture across the road, where they were at
danger from cars.
"Having the nest boxes out there gives them a safer place to nest," Ms Callander said.
As monitoring continued, more boxes may be placed along the coast,
as the most popular nesting spots were identified, she said.
"It’s going to continue on and just build on it so that we have got this really nice environment that they can enjoy."
The Zoo formalised its Places for Penguins partnership with Forest and Bird earlier this year.
The programme started in 2007, with the aim of making the south cast
a safer habitat, and the first nest boxes started being put out in
Since the Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins"
debuted in 2005, penguins have held a prominent place in popular
culture. From books and movies to clothing and home décor, these
adorable flightless birds can be found pretty much everywhere.
There are 17 to 20 different species of penguins in existence today,
and they’re found across the southern hemisphere — from the Galapagos
Islands to Antarctica. Here, we take a look at 10 penguin species to
learn more about the flippered birds that have captured our
imaginations. (Text: Laura Moss)
Reaching heights of 4 feet, the Emperor penguin is the tallest of all
penguin species. The bird lives in Antarctica, where it dives for fish,
krill and crustaceans, and it can reach depths of 1,755 feet and stay
submerged for up to 18 minutes. The Emperor penguin is best known for
its annual journey to mate and feed its offspring, which was the focus
of the documentary “March of the Penguins.”
In June 2011, an Emperor Penguin was found on a New Zealand beach
consuming sand, which it had mistaken for snow. The bird underwent
multiple to remove the sand, sticks and stones from its stomach.
Following recovery, the bird, named "Happy Feet," was fitted with a tracking device and released into the Southern Ocean.
Named after explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville’s wife, Adele, these
penguins live on the Antarctic coast and can swim at speeds of up to 45
miles per hour. The birds are easily recognizable by the distinctive
white rings around their eyes and the fact that they’re mostly black
with a white belly — giving them an appearance close to the
stereotypical image of penguins.
In 1911, explorer George Murray Levick observed the Adelie penguins'
breeding cycle and was shocked by their “sexual deviance.” Homosexual
acts, sexual abuse of chicks and attempts to mate with dead birds are
recorded in Levick's paper
"Sexual Habits of the Adelie Penguin," which was deemed too shocking
for publication and was only recently discovered by London's Natural
History Museum. Experts say the young penguins’ actions are due to
Humboldt penguins are native to Chile and Peru and nest on islands and
rocky coasts, often burrowing holes in guano. The birds’ numbers are
declining due to overfishing, climate change and ocean acidification,
and the animal is considered a vulnerable spcies. In 2010, Humboldt
penguins were granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
In 2009, two male Humboldt penguins at a German zoo adopted an
abandoned egg. After it hatched, the penguins raised the chick as their
own. In 2012, one of the 135 Humboldt penguins at the Tokyo Sea Life
Park in Japan scaled a 13-foot wall and escaped into Tokyo Bay, where it thrived for 82 days until it was recaptured.
Native to New Zealand, these birds may be the most ancient of all
living penguins, and they live long lives, with some individuals
reaching 20 years of age. Habitat destruction, introduced predators and
disease have caused the penguins’ numbers to drop to an estimated
population of 4,000. In 2004, a disease linked to a genus of bacteria
that causes diphtheria in humans, wiped out 60 percent of the
yellow-eyed penguins chicks on the Otago Peninsula. The species is
The yellow-eyed penguin, or Hoiho, appears on the New Zealand $5 note.
Chinstrap penguins are easily recognizable by the black bands under
their heads that give them the appearance of wearing helmets. They’re
found in Antarctica, the Sandwich Islands and other southern island
chains, where they live on barren islands and congregate on icebergs
during winter. Experts consider these birds to be the most aggressive
species of penguin.
In 2004, two male chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo formed a
pair-bond and took turns trying to “hatch” a rock. A zookeeper later
substituted the rock with a fertilized egg, and Roy and Silo hatched and
raised the chick. A children’s book titled “And Tango Makes Three” was
written about the penguins.
These penguins are native to southern Africa and are the only penguins
that breed on the continent. In fact, their presence is how the Penguin
Islands got their name. African penguins are also called “jackass
penguins” because of the donkey-like sounds they make. The species is
endangered, with fewer than 26,000 breeding pairs remaining.
Buddy and Pedro, two of the Toronto Zoo’s African penguins, made
headlines in 2011 when zookeepers announced that the pair-bonded male
birds would be separated in hopes they would mate with females.
King penguins are the second largest species of penguin and can grow to
3 feet tall. The animals live in Antarctica, which has an estimated
population of 2.23 million pairs, and the penguins are well adapted to
the extreme living conditions. The birds boast 70 feathers per square
inch of their bodies and have four layers of feathering. Like most
penguins, king penguins are able to drink saltwater because their
supraorbital glands filter out excess salt.
Nils Olav is a king penguin at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland who serves
as the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian Royal Guard. In
August 2008, the bird was knighted, an honor approved by the king of
The smallest species of penguin, the little penguin grows to an average
height of 13 inches and can be found on the coasts of southern
Australia and New Zealand. With about 350,000 to 600,000 of the animals
in the wild, the species isn’t endangered; however, people still go to
great lengths to protect the birds from predation. In some parts of
Australia, Maremma sheepdogs have been trained to guard penguin
colonies, and in Sydney, snipers have been deployed to protect little
penguins from fox and dog attacks.
Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system, was once
pecked by a little penguin, which inspired him to use a penguin as the
The macaroni penguin is one of six species of crested penguin, those
penguins with yellow crests and red bills and eyes. The birds are found
from the Subantarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula, and with 18 million
individuals, the animals are the most numerous penguin species in the
world. However, widespread declines in population have been reported
since the 1970s, which has resulted in their conservation status being
reclassified as vulnerable.
Macaroni penguins have proved to be popular cartoon characters and have
appeared in “The Penguins of Madagascar” and “Happy Feet.”
This species of penguin is able to survive in the tropical climate of
the Galapagos Islands due to the cool temperatures from the Humboldt
Current. The third smallest species of penguin, the birds are
particularly vulnerable to predation, and with an estimated population
of around 1,500 birds, the species is endangered.
As the only penguins in the world found north of the equator, all of the Galapagos penguins are famous in their own right.
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.
A lifelong student and confirmed polymath, I am currently writing my 2nd book this spring. I have an AS in Biology, a BA and an MA in English, plus I began a degree in Geology while living in CA. I am a retired herpetologist, but my blogs and current interests strive to promote animal conservation, particularly Penguins,Wolves, and Big Cats. I live with the loves of my life, Sissy, a Chihuahua, and Joey, Alero, Jillian, Loki, Jadin, Perse, Socks and Siggy - my ThunderCats - who help me cope with narcolepsy.