As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 8 November 2018

Bird is the word - meet the everyday Kiwis saving feathered lives

Vicki Anderson 05:00, Oct 29 2018

Little blue penguins are starving to death. The Kuaotunu Bird Rescue centre has had about 60 brought in, but only three have survived.

Promiscuous penguins terrified of water, harried harrier hawks, clumsy kererū and greedy kea owe their lives to the growing cavalry of everyday Kiwis who are helping rehabilitate our injured wildlife, writes VICKI ANDERSON.

Tubby, 21, is lying sprawled on his bed with his new girlfriend.

For three days straight, his mate next door, Nick Bond, with his distinctive swaggering walk, has been curled up beside one of his four current love interests, only emerging to eat.

"Penguins have lots of sexually transmitted diseases, they're very promiscuous," says Dianne Hynes, head penguin keeper at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch.

The centre is home to little blue and white-flippered penguins, the latter a unique "Canterbury only penguin" with a distinctive extra stripe around its flipper.

"It's breeding season at the moment," Hynes says. "So they're bonking away like crazy. We don't breed them because we are a second chance welfare centre, but they are still going for it."

Penguins have sex up to 50 times a day and "poo constantly".

"Nick Bond is our most handsome penguin. A surfer found him at Leithfield Beach," Hynes says. "A shark got one of his feet and he has toes missing on his other foot so when he walks he has got a bit of a swagger.

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