Good news for Low Head penguins!

The 2023/24 breeding season is coming to a close, with just a few chicks left in the colony. A survey of the nest boxes in early January recorded more than 20 chicks present, often as a pair, indicating a good breeding season for the birds.

A recent visit in early February recorded just 5 chicks, with the others having left the colony as soon as their waterproof feathers had grown. It is expected that the last of the chicks will leave the colony before the end of February.

Some moulting adults were present in nest boxes, and there have been plenty of old moulted feathers flying around the colony in recent days. The birds are ashore for almost 3 weeks during moult, and they cannot go to sea to feed – so it’s a quiet time ashore while the old feathers are replaced with new feathers for the coming winter.

The nest box project has contributed significantly to the colony’s recovery, with more than 90% of the next boxes now having been used for breeding and/or moulting since their deployment following the spate of dog attacks.

Pictures taken at Low Head 6 February, ©Eric J Woehler.