Sad Little Penguin

Earlier this week I was photographing a Little Penguin chick, it was covered with fluffy grey down and incredibly cute – and horribly injured.

 

Little Penguin chicks (Eudyptula minor)
1/640, f/5.6, ISO 1600

 

These little ones are older than the injured chick, their head and underparts have new feathers while their backs are still downy.

It is surprising how many people drive straight past these little beauties, even when I’m sitting on the other side of the track with my camera. Initially I intended to share an image of the injured chick but I can’t even work on the post-processing without feeling too sad to continue. I was too far from the chick to realise it was injured and only found out when I zoomed into one of the images and saw that its upper bill was bent and twisted at a 90 degree angle – the poor bird. The nature park weren’t answering their phones (it was after hours) so I called a local wildlife carer and within minutes a ranger arrived. The chick was very underweight and there was a dead adult penguin at the entrance to the burrow. I’m not sure what had hurt the birds though there were a range of suggestions including a natural or introduced predator (though I’m puzzled that the carcass was still at the burrow) or perhaps a vehicle.

Many vehicles drive far too quickly along the track which is confounding as the view and the wildlife are spectacular. I wish that speed limits could be lowered on the island, especially around dusk and dawn.

 

Little Penguin chicks (Eudyptula minor)
1/640, f/5.6, ISO 1600

 

It was cute to take the image above. Both birds were initially a bit deeper inside the burrow when this little one peeked out.

A healthy adult penguin stands about 33cm tall and weighs about 1kg. This burrow is at the top of a steep cliff that would take considerable effort for the average person to climb, let alone a tiny bundle of fluff.

 

Eclipse, super blue blood moon – Melbourne, Australia – January 2018

 

I haven’t yet looked through all my eclipse images but I processed this one in the wee small hours of the night and was chuffed to see the tiny stars pinpointed in the distance.

I almost shared a wallaby image too, sometimes I photograph foxes or roos or turtles, butterflies or bugs, and just about anything that could choose to run away … maybe I’ll occasionally add something different to a post. Talking of foxes one of my dogs is telling me there’s one in the garden right now, I’m off to investigate …

Happy birding

Kim

 

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3 comments to Sad Little Penguin

  • Lilla

    The twins are so cute and the moon is incredible

  • Barbara Devine

    What a magical moon and to capture and the stars as well, sensational. You will be the envy of so many who stayed up late but never got to see this amazing event. When you sit and look at this photo, however, you feel as if you were right there. Thank you.

    Our wildlife is all unique and each and every animal or bird or insect is part of the circle of life and at night so many come out to play.

    Every child should be taken to see these gorgeous little penguins and learn why we must protect their habitat. A visit to Phillip Island is a must for some holiday magic and does not matter whether you are 6 or 60 it is a delight.

  • Gai Collens

    Kim, I expect you would have been very relieved that you were able to contact the local wildlife carer who promptly sent a ranger to investigate. Well done.

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