Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Westie with the munchies

This wee chap is on my easel at the moment talking to me about what its like to be an endangered penguin in New Zealand...the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

"Westie" (my nickname for this guy) is a hard case looking bird with his bleach blonde highlights up the side of his head - he's strutting his 1980's style at the beach. 

He's a total chick magnet ...

...because he helps the female penguin keep the eggs warm until they hatch which can mean he hasn't had anything to eat for 6 weeks - now thats a mean case of the munchies!!

 The culprits for the declining population are stoats, dogs and humans disturbing their nest (which freaks them out and they don't return home again to feed their young), they also get caught up in fishing nets - heartbreaking stuff!
Many years ago these guys could even be found in the lower parts of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Unfortunately now theyre only in the lower west side of the South Island and on Stewart Island.

Right, better go paint this guy some feet! 

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