The reason for our visit to Cap Cotter was to continue Charly Bost’s long-term studies of the macaroni penguins. During our 1-week stay we undertook five separate projects, beginning with attaching GPS loggers and dive time/depth recorders to eight breeding females. Like most crested penguins, macaroni penguins are highly synchronousRead more

The name ‘macaroni’ to most people means short, curved tubes of hollow pasta, or they may have recollections of Yankee Doodle Dandy sticking a feather in his cap. However, bird enthusiasts associate the name with one of the larger species of crested penguin that breeds at remote sites in theRead more

The Crozet Islands are one of three subantarctic island groups in the southern Indian Ocean that together form the ‘Terres Australes’ of the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF). They are large islands (though much smaller than Kerguelen, which we visited next), with the two largest islands both exceeding 13,000Read more

penguin chick

Little penguins nest all around New Zealand’s coast, often close to humans. Over time, our activities of building homes, recreation areas and facilities like ports have eaten away at their habitat. Penguins are a delightful part of our natural heritage, even if they can be a bit noisy and sometimesRead more

This year’s Te Papa Little Penguin research programme was focussed at Motuara Island in Queen Charlotte Sound, just out of Picton, where there is a population of several hundred little penguins that breed between August and December. We deployed GPS trackers on adult birds throughout their breeding season to find out their main foragingRead more

Our little penguin research continues this year as the team returned to Motuara Island in Marlborough (see the 2014 Te Papa penguin blogs for more about last year’s research). The penguins nesting at this site benefit from a predator free nesting habitat, shared with a number of land- and sea-birds. AsRead more

The main attraction at Gould Bay – in fact the only reason the Gould Bay camp exists – is a large emperor penguin colony. On my first visit I counted just under 6300 live chicks, and estimated that there would have been about 7500 breeding pairs at the start ofRead more

It is a long-established Antarctic fact that the southernmost penguin colony on the planet is at Cape Royds, on the west side of Ross Island, near McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Slightly anomalously, this is an Adélie penguin colony, being a few minutes further south than the ‘southernmost’ emperor penguinRead more

Emperor penguins are penguins of superlatives – largest, deepest diving, able-to-withstand-the-coldest-temperatures etc. But one rarely-mentioned fact is that they are the most curious penguin, as in possessing the strongest innate curiosity. This year’s ‘Emp camp’ at Gould Bay was established 2.3 km from the nearest corner of the colony, toRead more

The work on little penguins around Wellington continues, now that most of the nesting pairs have one or two chicks to feed. This week Te Papa scientists and helpers from various disciplines on the Te Papa staff have been putting out loggers on the chick-rearing penguins, both in Evan’s BayRead more

Work continues at Motuara Island on the little penguin foraging behaviour. The nesting penguins are mainly on chicks at this stage of the breeding cycle, although some birds have re-nested and are now incubating new eggs. Caroline Bost, the French intern working with Te Papa this summer, has been stationedRead more

Snares crested penguins on the landing rocks in Station Cove. Image: Colin Miskelly: Te Papa

The wild and remote Snares Islands, 105km south-southwest of Stewart Island, are usually home only to a vast array of birds and sea life. In late 2013 the islands saw the arrival of four lucky Te Papa scientists to carry out a range of seabird and plant research projects. WatchRead more