Henry Hesitates

https://penguinhospital.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/xxx/The very best thing about penguins is watching them come and go.

In the evening, several penguins arrive at once. They have had a long day of fishing, and they glide in on the surf and stand up out of the water in the setting sun. Their white bellies glow like pearls. I imagine them swimming home on the sea highway from their office on the sea floor and now that they’ve arrived, there’s a bit of preening on the beach, some conversation, and a leisurely stroll up the hill to their nests.

In the morning, it is all rush rush rush. They are hungry. They run down to the beach in groups and with a great sense of purpose dive into the water one after the other…except for Henry.

Henry hesitates. Henry puts one toe in the water and looks back at the beach to see if anyone else is coming. Henry, it seems, is not that fond of the ocean and he steps aside as penguins hop past him and dive into the waves. Then he turns himself around and with his back to the ocean and his head down, he finds his way off the rocks and walks back up to the reserve.

We are worried about Henry. He’s a juvenile but he’s not behaving like a fully fledged penguin. He is not overly thin yet, so he must be fishing for food at some point during the day, but it is odd to see a penguin turn away from the sea in the morning.

It’s a mystery. But Henry, we have our eye on you… and we will give you one more stay in the hospital if you get too thin, but that will be your last chance. From that point on, it will be swim, or sink…

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Henry Hesitates

  1. why are you giving Henry only one more chance?it’s a penguin hospital,right? cos if it is, he should always be allowed to be helped. or you could send someone to pick him up(the person will be in scuba gear), and then bring him into the ocean. it’s an idea.

    1. Ava,

      We are not sure why Henry is having a hard time fishing in the ocean but yellow-eyed penguins don’t do well in captivity (that’s why you never see them in zoos) so he really needs to learn how to survive in the wild.

      As hard as it is for us to let him figure it out for himself or perish, that is what is best for the colony. It is possible that he is simply not very fit, and if he dies those “unfit” genes will not be passed on to the next generation.

      That is the harsh reality of how things work in Nature and although it is not always pretty or nice, it is always interesting! And a strong curiosity about why these things are happening in nature is what motivates people to become zoologists, ornithologists, ecologists, botanists, marine scientists…the list is long and varied for careers studying nature.

    1. quack123

      You have asked an interesting question…because I know how old Henry is only because of the feathers on his head. Otherwise I would have to read his flipper tag and go through the records of the colony. Henry is a juvenile penguin and is less than a year old. He is called a “juvenile” penguin because he is wearing his first set of waterproof feathers that came after he lost the downy feathers he was born with during his first moult. So he doesn’t have a yellow stripe on his head and bright yellow eyes of an adult. These will come with his second moult when he is a little older than one year. Right now he has a pale grey stripe around his head and only a hint of yellow in his eyes.

      Ornithologists (people who study birds) think that juvenile feathers are a way for adult birds to tell if another bird is inexperienced. Size is not an indicator of age, because younger birds are the same size or bigger than the adults.

      Children make mistakes and learn from them, that is part of growing up. Young birds also make mistakes and learn from them so it is good that they have a different colour coat and adult birds know that their mistakes should be forgiven.

      Miss L

  2. HENRY WE BELIEVE IN YOU!!!

    Was Henry born like this or did he get into the habit of not feeding from the sea.

    1. sausages747

      We think Henry may have been injured the first time he went into the ocean but we are not sure. Trying something new like fishing in the ocean can be pretty scary. But trying something new and getting hurt the first time can make it even scarier.

      Miss L.

  3. why are you giving Henry only one more chance?it’s a penguin hospital,right? cos if it is, he should always be allowed to be helped. or you could send someone to pick him up(the person will be in scuba gear), and then bring him into the ocean. it’s an idea.

  4. oh poor Henry. i wonder where he is going. maybe he is feeling sad but i would want to get him checked in to the hospital as soon as possible. i hope he is not sick.

    i wish you well with your mystery with Henry i hope he stops acting strange good luck

    skye

      1. not a problem i just hope Henry will be OK and i hope hes not eating the wrong kind of food for him. i look forward to seeing you next time. i like hearing about the penguin hospital. see ya

  5. khyla,

    It is entirely possible that Henry is not feeling well. Penguins, like humans, get sick. And sometimes they get sick enough that they end up in hospital. I hope we find out what is wrong with Henry also.

  6. I think it’s the name!! The Henry in our story (111-year old tuatara) was also verrrry reluctant to do what he was supposed to do- but delivered in the end 😉 Go Henry!

  7. why are you giving Henry only one more chance?it’s a penguin hospital,right? cos if it is, he should always be allowed to be helped. or you could send someone to pick him up(the person will be in scuba gear), and then bring him into the ocean. it’s an idea. poor Henry maybe somethings wrong and he dosent feel so good i hope you find out whats wrong with Henry! oh poor Henry. i wonder where he is going. maybe he is feeling sad but i would want to get him checked in to the hospital as soon as possible. i hope he is not sick.

    i wish you well with your mystery with Henry i hope he stops acting strange good luck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s