Monday, February 7, 2011

Bicheno Blowhole and Fairy Penguins

We spent the night in Bicheno after the surfing lesson.  We went to dinner that night and then over to see the Bicheno Blowhole.  It is an area along the water where the waves come into the rocks just right to cause a blowhole of water.  It was really cool.

We went to see the fairy penguins come in fromt the ocean after this.  We went on a tour where they took us in a bus out to where the penguins come in and a guide took us around the rookery.  Typically this time of year upwards of 100 penguins come in from the ocean each night to feed their young after feeding out in the ocean all day.  Because of the recent floods, the numbers were way down.  Some of the chicks who weren't quite ready to go out to the ocean and feed for themselves were forced to go because their parents weren't able to get back to them.  We saw around 30 penguins on the tour.  We even saw a couple of furry chicks in one of the burrows.  The fairy penguins come in as a group as protection against predators.  Of the 17 species of penguins fairy penguins are the smallest.  They are about a foot tall and weigh 2 pounds.  Do you know why penguins waddle?  It is because they don't have any knees. These penguins are also called little penguins or blue penguins because their feathers are slate blue.

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