Monday, September 21, 2009

A Blizzard of Feathers Inside Penguins' Rock

The other day Amy Graves, Loribeth Aldrich and the penguin volunteers had their hands full. There are feathers all over the place inside Penguins' Rock. Welcome to molting season! The gentoo and macaronis are currently all stages of molting right now. One Gentoo, “Blue” is completely finished molting, and has jumped back in the water for swimming. The tail feathers are slower to grow in, so he doesn’t have much of a tail right now, but the other feathers are nice and sleek. There are eight Macaronis molting, and they are grumpy right now. It’s not uncommon to see more aggression between birds during this time. “Merlin” is the only Macaroni who hasn’t even fattened up to molt yet, though he should soon, and of course the new chick will not molt this season. Among the Gentoos, “Nipper” and “Bug” are fattening and just about ready to molt, and “Biscuit” is in the midst of it. The Macaroni chick is still gradually being introduced to the water and the colony, but still has not gone for his/her first swim yet.

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