Erect-crested penguin (tick ... yippee!)

Subject: Erect-crested penguin (tick ... yippee!)
From: R D Woodford <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 01:25:29 +1100
I'd have to agree with Margaret and say that the EC Penguin is hard to 
miss while it stays where it is now.  I hope it doesn't attract unwanted 
attention, especially over the weekend. It has picked quite a good spot.

I saw it for about 45 min up to 7.15 pm tonight.  It did its standard 
routine of flipper-flexing and even a bit of preening for this, the 
evening performance (if the Vic Government is quick off the mark they 
could wrap up some endorsements here - perhaps a big silver crown 
logo?). A few tourists noticed it - some even attempted a few photos.  I 
took a couple but really needed more than my 210mm lens.  

The feathers were falling off the bird at quite a rate as it preened, 
and the dark areas looked a bit thin in covering. There was an 
almost-bald patch at the back of the crown, and another between the 

There's a photo in the Reader's Digest 'coffee-table' Australian Birds 
book - it shows a juvenile EC pengui with adults (p. 79).  The 12 
Apostles bird looked half-way in age between the ones pictured, but had 
a couple of noticeable differences:  the feet were pink above, and the 
bill showed a much clearer dark red.  The bare skin around the base of 
the bill was visible but not clear from the angle/s observed.  Is the RD 
photo a bit washed out?

The other thing I noticed was the sideways tail swishing every so often 
when it was standing.  Why do they do this?  It was smoothing the sand 
behind it, but why?

Other nice birds around about included:

The 'offical' kestrel which always seems to be there
several Black-faced Cormorant
Rufous Bristlebird
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Blue-winged Parrot
Bassian Thrush at night (!) on the way home via a minor Otways track

I hope this penguin stays put for a little longer as it is giving 
fantastic views and it's cheaper than going a long way south.


Russell Woodford

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