Out With the Little Penguin Research Team

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This is my fourth year of volunteering with Earthcare to look after the penguins on the breakwater. Last night, I took up the invitation to go out with the research team which goes out every second Sunday to measure the penguins. This involves rock-hopping and trying to grab the penguins as they run for cover. Not easy and I didn’t catch any (frankly, I was happy just to watch and help pass on the caught birds), but the team caught a lot and microchipped all the birds which didn’t have a chip and were big enough (over 650g – fully grown birds are about a kilo) to be injected with one. Just like dogs, the chip is injected into the scruff of the neck.

clambering over the rocks, looking for little penguins

Injecting a microchip into a little penguin

A chipped penguin - look at that sharp beak...

This is what happens to inexperienced handlers (me) who don't know to always point the penguin away...

It's late in the season, but some of the penguins are still breeding and as is usual, this clutch contains two eggs.

When we had finished, at about 11.30pm, I took the opportunity to walk to the end of the breakwater on a beautiful evening in Melbourne

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