Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Oamaru
The yellow eyed penguins are one of the most endangered of the penguin species. There are only about 4000 or so in the world...
Note the metal band on the right wing of the adult... Its used for tracking by the local conservation group...
The picture here is another penguin nest close up, thanks to the guided tour by the local conservation group here at Oamaru...
The penguins have become a major attraction in Oamaru over the past few years. These yellow eyed penguins are a bit larger than the little blue penguins, and are able to be seen during daylight hours. This means they can also be photographed - no flash is required.
Do take care to keep voices and noise down when they are nearby to avoid causing distress. It is a good idea to take warm clothes as the wind coming in off the Pacific Ocean can be cold. It is possible to walk down a track to the beach where seals and sealions are often seen.
Bushy beach is a quiet are along Oamaru coast, where you are likely to see yellow eyed penguins. Differently from the little blue penguins, yellow eyed are very shy, they don't like to see or hear humans. The beach is visible from high above, bringing a pair of binoculars and/or camera zooms is a very good idea!
We were lucky enough to see one penguin, he showed off a lot while we were all silently looking at him! Be there at around 7pm to make sure you don't miss their rendez-vous!
Entrance to the onservation area is free.
On the Bushy Beach Road (Ask in visitor centre for map or directions) is a nesting site for Yellow-Eyed Penguins. Go to the watch towers at dusk any see them coming back to feed their chicks. They are not as numerous as the Blue Penguins in the harbour but much cuter and therefore worth the wait.
Take the guided tour at sunset, and the guide will take you right up close to some of the yellow eyed penguin nests near Oamaru..