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Penguins South America update

> > Dear PenguinPromises > > The chicks have now left the colony and have gone to sea to begin life on their > own. They are now swimming up the coast of Patagonia towards Brazil. In a few > weeks time Promises will follow them to Brazil, but first there are things that > all the adult penguins must do before they can leave. > > When young birds leave the nest they are said to have fledged. In reality the > word refers to birds that can fly, but even though penguins cannot fly, the word > fledged is still correctly applied to penguins in both common language and scientific > reports. > > Once the chicks have fledged they are then called juveniles. The term juvenile > refers to what might be considered a penguin version of a human teenager. They > are now able to live independently from their parents and make their own way > in the world, but they have still not finished developing to attain their full &g
Recent posts

FW: Christmas Greetings from Promises

Dear PenguinPromises The eggs have finally hatched, and your penguin now has two tiny baby penguins in the nest. At the moment the chicks are too small and fragile to send you a photo of them, as you will know from previous years. When the chicks are so small they need very little food. Their main requirements are warmth and protection, so they spend most of their time hiding underneath Promises. Trying to take photos of the nervous chicks hiding in the nest under the parents would just cause disturbance, and would be unlikely to result in good photos. So for now I attach a photo of another nest, where two chicks were visible for us to take a photo without causing any disturbance. Even so I barely managed to get the head. In January the chicks will begin leaving the nest for short periods of time, to stretch and to do flipper exercises, enabling us to get good photos of all the chicks. There are two chicks in the attached photo, one has its head tucked inside the burrow, a

Penguin adoption - Promises

> > Dear PenguinPromises > > The penguins have finally arrived back at the colony after their winter > migration to Brazil. The weather is very mild for this time of year. Usually > when the penguins arrive home in October it is still very cold, with snow on > the hills. This year the snow disappeared weeks ago and it has been very > pleasant working outside. > > This is the first time that the penguins have been ashore for months. During > their winter migration the penguins stay out at sea all the time, eating and > sleeping in the water. In the water the temperature barely changes from > month to month. The ocean is so large that there are no sudden changes in > the water temperature under normal circumstances. > > Antarctic currents running up the coast of Patagonia keep the seawater cool > but stable. That current also brings nutrient rich water up the coast of > Patagonia from Antarctica, which

FW: Penguin adoption - Promises

Dear PenguinPromises The penguins have arrived at their winter destination, and are floating and resting in the water along the beautiful coastline of Brazil. The sea is home for Promises at this time of year, and one reason that penguins love it so much is because of the ease with which they can catch fish. From October to May home for Promises is back in the colony, keeping eggs warm, rearing chicks and moulting. Penguins have to make nests on land to do all of those things. Bird eggs must be kept warm to hatch, which would be impossible floating in cold water. The chicks are also unable to swim when they are little, so a land-based nest is the only solution. Despite being highly adapted to life at sea, penguins are still birds, and as birds they are forced to spend much of their life on land, even though they prefer to remain out at sea. The main problem for Promises nesting on land is that the fish they eat are out at sea. So each day the penguins have to spend about two h

update on penguins in South America(-:

Dear PenguinPromises The penguins finished their annual moult and have now left the colony. They have set off on their winter migration and will now be out in the open ocean swimming up the coast of Argentina. Their final destination is Brazil, but it will take them several weeks to get there. They are not in any rush. Just like an ocean cruise, the idea is for Promises to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. The coastline of Patagonia is very beautiful, and there are lots of fish to be found whenever the penguins get hungry. Now that there is no longer a need to travel to and from the nest each day, Promises can relax out at sea, catching fish and swimming leisurely northwards a bit at a time. As you can imagine, the penguins were very hungry after finishing their annual moult, during which they were not able to feed. Now they have full stomachs again. The weather is lovely, the sea is nice and calm, and the gloomy winter days are now behind Promises for a few wee

Gotta love to do what we do

If we train animals we have heard of Classical Conditioning (Pavlov dogs) and Operant Conditioning. We are taught that we use operant conditioning and focus on positive reinforcement - which we are told is a part of operant conditioning. I would like to challenge this approach a little. The world of ethical animal behaviour management and particularly animal training is exploding with beautiful concepts. Providing animals with the ability to give us their consent, and to always be at choice is beginning to become a part of what we do as animal care specialists. Animals are being shown how to say no for example, and we take this as information - that we are not making what we are asking them to do clear or reinforcing enough. Hurrah.... So, with this in mind, we need to begin to recognise that most behaviour is - once it is trained - essentially a habit. If we cue an animal to do a behaviour and they have had a favourable association with that particular cue in the past, they a

The world continues - penguin update❤️

Dear PenguinPromises > > The penguins are now back home in the colony after having spent a lovely few > weeks just resting and relaxing out at sea. They have been eating lots of fish > and have now got back to their normal weight of about 6 kg. > > Winter is now approaching rapidly and the days are getting shorter. Each day > there are fewer hours of daylight for Promises to catch fish. The penguins will > need to start swimming northwards soon to find better weather and longer hours > of daylight for fishing, but first they have to change their feathers. Changing > feathers is called moulting or molting depending on where you live. My apologies > if my British spelling is not the same as yours. > > When the penguins leave on their winter migration they will be out at sea for > many months without coming ashore at all. The seawater is very cold so the feathers > need to be in perfect condition to keep Promises war