This live video is pinned to our Instagram for now, but I wanted to put it in here too as it was a rare experience at Sea World San Diego. We also haven’t figured out a way to put it on our YouTube. Hopefully we’ll figure it out soon.
This was Bluie’s first time to Sea World and although they came from an Aquarium, Sea World was different. These were different penguins from the little blues Bluie was used to seeing too. Justin rarely gets to spend time with the penguins as a Curator. It’s awesome that despite that he was open to answering questions. We rarely can think of any when someone is actually around to answer questions. I sometimes think of questions when an expert isn’t around, but not often. Just like Bluie, we’re usually just star struck when we see penguins. But don’t worry, a few people asked many questions. Hopefully some of your questions about Magellanic Penguins are answer in this video. Feel free to ask here too!
Friday July 29, 2022 @ SeaWorld San Diego. Magellanic Penguins with Curator Justin.
It’s so early for them right now, but they’re there! Yaaay! I haven’t seen them in so long!
Penguin genes show how they adapted to the cold. Now they’re vulnerable to climate change – ABC News
This is a great article that gives a broad oversight to some of the challenges penguins face due to their lack of ability to evolve and adapt quickly. It also touches a little on the history and herstory of penguin adaptation, including their sense of taste. Now if you ask me, in my observations of captive penguins, penguins are picky eaters. They do prefer certain types of fish, and even the way the fish looks or is facing makes a difference to some penguins. I wonder if they can tell which fish have vitamins in them.
Although the penguins (genus) have been around for around 60 million years, their ability to adapt to the recent rapid changes of their environment pose a lot of concern.
Personally, I’m glad that a lot of attention has been brought to the surface when it comes to the penguins. But it’s bitter sweet that the plight of penguins motivated many people to act in efforts to include penguins into captive survival plans. I’m often torn by my feelings on the subject of captive birds.
Recently in Hawaii, decisions were made that the Akikiki in Kauai needed to be taken into captivity. Last year alone, 8 of Hawaii’s birds were declared extinct by U.S. Fish and Wildlife. It was Hawaii’s bird’s that actually tuned my channel to wildlife conservation. I had no real tangible idea of how helpless wildlife is to human action, inaction, and interaction. When I learned that some of the birds we saw in Hawaii were no longer available for public view, I realized that the pictures my now wife took were suddenly rare. She wanted to retake pictures of certain birds, but we couldn’t go back to retake them, even though she’s a bird biologist herself. In many ways, this was devastating. We tried to find products that featured these birds. We learned that many Hawaiian’s don’t even know their native birds. They’ve never seen them, heard them, or learned of them. And from here on out, they never will…. Trying to find pictures of some of the birds, I realized some of my wife’s images were very rare indeed. It’s unbelievable that some of her images might be the last of the birds taken in their natural environment. Especially at the angles and showing particular features. Scarlett is overly modest about her photography. She thinks her work is not worthy of being shared. My objective comes from my understanding that our images may not be perfect but because they might be the only ones, we’re obligated to share them. We are lucky to always get special access to birds that most people wouldn’t. Scarlett is acknowledged in published works regarding birds. Her photography is often used in government documents and reports too. She will down play all of that too. I’m proud of her despite her feelings about her work. She is a bird ecologist and biologist but her accomplishments were obtained with her having earned just a bachelor’s degree. This is incredibly rare these days. But her passion and desire coupled with her need to see and photograph as many birds as possible in areas where endangered or threatened endemic birds are, she makes these incredibly rare experiences happen. I come along for the ride but even I now borrow a camera to take pictures too. It’s that important.
It’s concerning that recently many Little Blue Penguins aka Korora (formerly and still known as Fairy Penguins but many no longer use this label as it could be seen as offensive and also is not an accurate description of the species. So we also choose not to use this name.) but which is a species of penguins that are of least concern have been washing ashore dead in New Zealand. The reasons are not exactly known but experts suspect climate change and over fishing might have something to do with it. Little Blue Penguins are now here in San Diego at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla and although they are of least concern now, I cannot help but wonder if that survival status could change and if so, how quickly. Of course I love seeing the penguins. I get to be physically close, observe them personally, and it’s fairly easy for me to visit them. But it concerns me that so many species of birds, penguins and not, are requiring human intervention and even permanent captivity in order to save them. That means that if we want to see these birds, the only choice we have is to keep them captive.
The reason for why we started Surrounded By Penguins, aside from the obvious fact that we love penguins, is because I specifically was clueless to the fragility of birds. I did not know of their plight and took them for granted. I know I’m not alone in my innocent ignorance. Many of the birds we’ve seen in our travels are no longer available for general or even captive viewing. I feel obligated to share what I’m lucky to learn and experience in hopes that we can empower people to help wildlife and their natural environment in any way they can. I want people to understand that any small amount of help makes a difference. I also want to share what images we have of the birds because some of the images we have are actually quite rare with very few or no images of the birds in their natural environment. This is also why currently we do not have pictures of the birds up, they need to be officially copyrighted. Unfortunately we didn’t include metadata on the pictures when they were taken, so if you all know of anyone that can help us do that in bulk, please send them our way!
We were featured on the local news for LGBTQIA+ Pride month!
I kinda wish I said different things but I still think I did really well considering. Plus CBS8 did really good by us. Thanks CBS8! Especially Mario Escovado. Aly and Cheryl at SBDC too. I had the big sick at the time this was recorded. I’m proud that I pulled it together to do the interview. The night before I practiced a script, none of that is in the short clip but the whole process took all of me still. I tapped up exactly where the furniture, laptop, myself had to be placed for the shoot. After, I knew I over did it.
What I really love about penguins is that they’re unique. They’ve been around for around 60 million years and are designed like no other birds. They are an anomaly that doesn’t make sense yet they’ve been around thriving for a very long time. They’re easy to connect to in an emotional way because we can relate to them.
What I love is that they also mentioned the Birch Aquarium Little Blue Penguins too!
I love a lot about penguins, sure what I mentioned in the clip is true but especially fit LGBTQIA+ month I wish I pointed out that penguins definitely are the queer birds that keep things simple without much fluff. They definitely may be odd but they got all the right stuff.
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We don’t think so…
We’ve been to Omaru and have seen these penguins in real life….
This is why Surrounded By Penguins does Trashy Tuesday Beach Clean Ups.
In case you didn’t know Surrounded By Penguins does a Trashy Tuesdays Beach Clean Up that’s open to the public every Tuesday starting at 7am. We pick up litter on various beaches and put it in its place. We call this event Surrounded By Penguins Trashy Tuesday Beach Clean Up. Folx interested are invited to check our website calendar for where we’ll be next and join. For those unable to join in person, we challenge people worldwide to pick up 2 pieces of litter every Tuesday wherever they are and dispose of the litter appropriately. This we call the “2 for Trashy Tuesday Challenge”. Its been proven that many doing a little has more of an impact than one person doing a lot so we encourage everyone to participate.
#penguins #penguin #penguinlove #penguinlover #cutepenguin #cutepenguins #pengie #pengies #beachpenguins #penguinsofinstagram #penguinshirt #dreamaccomplished #gratitude #thankyoueveryone #trashytuesdaybeachcleanup #trashytuesday #beachcleanup #ocean #beach #litter #putitinitsplace #recycle #gooddeeds #surroundedbypenguinstrashytuesdaybeachcleanup
#whoswithme #stuffies #alittlehelpdoesapenguingood
Previously I’ve blogged on the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This is how it’s going so far.
Watch “African Penguins released at the De Hoop Nature Reserve” on YouTube
Recently we traveled to the Palm Springs area in California on a mission to assist Executive Photographer (and Co Owner of Surrounded By Penguins), Scarlett, with her Birb Biologist job. I love when this opportunity comes up because I feel like I’m a helpful assistant to wildlife caring people. We also are directly helping with research as we are collecting generic samples of the birds we catch. A few choice penguins and I are always happy to tag along and help with these endeavors.
As usual, I tagged on other ventures for Surrounded By Penguins while up there. In the interest of wanting to provide excursions and tours to surrounding wildlife conservation areas to include zoo’s, aquariums, and the like we decided to include attending a special event at the Palm Desert Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden. We obtained 3 genetic samples of wild birds that have established territories at the zoo. It’s pretty amazing that this zoo provides sanctuary knowingly and passively to endangered wildlife. The habitat maintained at many zoo’s actually provide the surrounding wildlife with a sanctuary. You’ll see deer at the Safari Park in San Diego for example along with both local and migratory birds and other wildlife. What animals have you seen in zoo’s that cohabitate with the zoo animals?
Since we were collecting genetic samples we got to visit the Living Desert Zoo before opening. During the day we got to see these amazing lanterns already set up for the Glow in the Park event. We could only imagine what they looked like at night.
We wouldn’t get our chance to see the lanterns lit until the the events closing night. The unobstructed colorful views during the day became much more appreciated as we found ourselves shoulder to shoulder much of the time at night. But wow wow wow were the lanterns amazing. Day or night the creative detailed figures were impressive. We were blown away by the correctly coordinated colors, fabric designs, accurate proportions to scale, and many of the lantern animals moved! Not one person in the collective mob was unimpressed and many people were still interested in seeing the actual animals that were not lanterns too. To give respect to the animals, the lights were strategically placed and some areas were off limits.
Maybe some animals that are nocturnal were visible? These naked mole rats are blind so do they know when it’s day or night? Without the ability to see, how else can we gauge if it’s day time or night time?
Although it was difficult, I took many many many pictures and will share some below.
During the event, Afie, Syd and I decided that from now on only one of them would be on my shoulder while in public. Both of them at the same time proved to be way too much to worry about. The ippies (Mippy, Sippy and Zippy) are definitely the most readily and photogenic of the ambassadors. Syd and Afie seem to enjoy seeing the ongoings from our shoulders and agree to being in selfies occasionally. Most times they are like the family pictures with the one kid that looks hilariously awkward on purpose.
As usual, we all still had a great time. Enjoy!
We celebrated at the San Diego Zoo with the African Penguins last month on April 25th! What did you do to celebrate the penguins all around the world?
Ahhhhhh TooToo looks like hys getting attacked by an octopus arm!
We even went live on Facebook and Instagram! Find the videos on our Instagram! On Instagram Connorbalts4 and pico_space_adventures joined us! We all had a great visit! Thank you both for joining!
Some of the SBP’s pengie’s, Amy, and I recently visited the San Diego Zoo to check out the new explorer area. What a great time! I got so distracted by all the neat new exhibits and attractions that we ran out of time to see the African Penguins. Can you believe that?! Anyways… Here’s some of what you could expect to see on your visit.