October 14, 2017 Our Stories 0

On Saturday, 14 October we released a few of our recovered patients back into the welcoming waves of the big blue. The group was representative of all the sea-going ages. In the world of the African penguin you need to earn your colours. This is a quick guide to assist you with African penguin age identification tips.

All fluff, no feathers…..

Obviously, the fluffy chicks are not at sea-going age. They are the babies, relying on their parents for food, warmth & shelter. They have the “Aaaaah” factor and a loud squeaky voice with huge attention seeking value. From hatching to fledging takes approximately 60 days in ideal conditions but it can take as long as 130 days.

 

The inbetweeners….

The stages provide some excellent funny photo features but it is no fun if these “inbetweeners” got to sea. Until they have lost all their fluffy down, they are not waterproof.

Big blue adventure

Once they shed their fluff, they are ready to fledge and face the open ocean on their own. In African penguin speak they are called “Blues”. The term “blue” refers to the blue sheen on their feathers. They have a blue/black back & a plain white tummy. They enter the ocean and start the perilous life of trying to survive to adulthood against all odds. They leave the colony of their birth and explore far and wide.

Nobody loves me….

Nobody goes through life without experiencing the “teenage phase”. You wear funny clothes, you do not fit in anywhere, you have wayward hair. The African penguin equivalent is the Juvenile. Noticeable by their drab brown feather colour and splotchy white headgear. The juvenile African penguin is literally the ugly duckling on their way to become a full colour, 007 tuxedo wearing, iconic adult African penguin.

Proudly African, dressed to impress….

Behold the adult African penguin, living proof that black and white can work together.

In celebration of the tenacious African penguin, please download our special “Colour me beautiful” picture and have some creative colouring fun.

The African penguin is standing on the brink of extinction. We have lost 99% of the African penguin population since the turn of the 20th century. The African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary rescue, rehabilitate and release injured, oiled and sick African penguins, because #EveryPenguinCounts. We believe that more proactive steps are needed if we want to arrest the downward population trend. Effective habitat management is critical to protecting the penguins. To achieve this we work towards improving the habitat of the penguins.  Our actions include:

  • The development of artificial penguin nests to prevent predation and provide shelter from the weather. • Lobbying for the establishment of more Marine Protected Areas around penguin colonies. Large-scale marine reserves help to keep ecosystems intact, this is not just good for penguins but also for the biodiversity of our oceans. • We promote responsible fisheries management. Industrial fishing can put stress on penguin populations. Responsible fisheries management takes into account the foraging needs of predator species such as penguins. It does not always mean that fisheries must stop fishing. We believe in a fair and balanced approach and that there is a solution that will benefit both penguins and people.
  • Lobbying for the establishment of more Marine Protected Areas around penguin colonies. Large-scale marine reserves help to keep ecosystems intact, this is not just good for penguins but also for the biodiversity of our oceans. • We promote responsible fisheries management. Industrial fishing can put stress on penguin populations. Responsible fisheries management takes into account the foraging needs of predator species such as penguins. It does not always mean that fisheries must stop fishing. We believe in a fair and balanced approach and that there is a solution that will benefit both penguins and people.
  • We promote responsible fisheries management. Industrial fishing can put stress on penguin populations. Responsible fisheries management takes into account the foraging needs of predator species such as penguins. It does not always mean that fisheries must stop fishing. We believe in a fair and balanced approach and that there is a solution that will benefit both penguins and people.

We need your help to rebuild the African penguin population, please click on the “give to safe” link and be part of the solution