Monday, February 20, 2012

Underweight chicks

During the 2011 field season, any underweight chicks found or oiled seabirds found on Robben Island while conducting logger research were sent to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds SANCCOB for rehabilitation.
Here Eve Englefield holds an underweight blue while Kate Robinson and Yolo Galada inspect a nest to see if a logger bird has returned. Young birds that have molted into juvenile plumage are called blues. At this stage they have fledged and are often seen at the beach loafing with other juveniles. This one was no where near the weight it should be at that age stage, it was severely underweight and behaving strangely, hardly moving at all. 

On occassion, injured or sick adults were found or brought to us from Robben Island Museum Staff and and they were also sent over to SANCCOB. The list of casualties in 2011 included a penguin that had a broken foot, a penguin that had got shut in an abandoned building, one that had a wound that appeared to be from a seal bite, and three oiled birds from the leaking of the Seli One. They were all sent over on the Robben Island Museum ferries to the mainland in penguin boxes and met at the Waterfront by dedicated SANCCOB staff.
The adult with an injured foot was later amputated at SANCCOB. Penguins can still swim if they lose a leg and can be returned to the wild but not if they lose a wing.
These are the three oiled penguins found on Robben Island and sent over to SANCCOB in September.

We fervently hope to not find as many injured, oiled, or underweight birds in 2012 but at least we know if we do there is a place we can send them where they will get the best care possible.
Thank you SANCCOB!

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