A few days in the life of a tawaki family

Snip from video - tawaki JH03 Sept 15The Trust’s ‘pre-predator control’ monitoring project in South Westland is producing a fascinating insight into the day to day existence of our rare Fiordland crested penguins.

Reviewing thousands of video clips, recorded using motion sensor cameras and ‘black flash’, is revealing more about the penguins than we previously knew as well as the presence, absence and behaviour of predator species including possums, stoats and rats.

It is a privilege to see these tawaki in their daily life, undisturbed by humans, and a few video clips have been cobbled together from part way through last season’s breeding season so that others can enjoy them too.

Here’s the 2 minute video: WCPT tawaki video compilation, Sept-Oct 2015

You will see a breeding pair of tawaki with their fluffy chick.  The first penguin has a red data logger on its back, used by the Tawaki Project team to record its foraging activity – distance and depth.  The logger was removed part way through the selection of clips presented in this compilation (which are spread over seven days) after five days and three foraging trips.Snip from video - tawaki grooming JH03 Sept 15

The second penguin has a wing tag.  These identifiers are no longer used but this one tells us that the bird was banded at Monro Beach in 2000.  At the time of the banding it was already in adult plumage so at least 1.5 years old.  Which makes #1179 the oldest tawaki on record with at least 17 years, and still a successful breeder.


Once the image review and write up is complete, results will be published on our website.  In the meantime, you can follow more research into these penguins from the Tawaki Project: http://www.tawaki-project.org/

Snip from video - tawaki chick JH03 Sept 15