Shy Penguins and a “No Go” Zone

Yellow-eyed penguins are not the only shy penguins on the planet. Before Ursula Ellenberg studied human disturbance in regard to our yellow-eyed penguins, she studied Humboldt penguins in Chile and found that they also have a problem with humans beings (see her article in Biological Conservation, 2006). It isn’t hard to imagine why. For 11,000 years, Chileans have hunted the penguins on the islands off the coast of Chile. This long term hunting pressure would have favoured the survival of birds that are more cautious and shy.

Who says we aren't social?
Who says we aren’t social? This photo was taken from inside a hide a month ago (before they were nesting). I also took special care when entering and leaving the hide so as not to disturb them.

It is penguin nesting time again. And despite the fact that no juveniles have showed up yet at XXX (yes they are very late), juveniles are not the best breeders. So we are hoping the older penguins will have a banner year and this means (as usual) we give them space when they are nesting.

For now, the breeding area is completely off limits for six to eight weeks so the yellow-eyed penguins can nest and lay their eggs in peace. That means no visits and a long wait till we see what they have been up to.


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