What an amazing experience!
Led by a group of local volunteers, the boys were taught all about the habits of the penguins and how they use the nesting boxes. They got to walk around the site and open some of the boxes. It was amazing to see pairs of penguins already building their nests inside the boxes.
Once we had been shown around, Mike who was organising the visit, showed us all a Little Blue Penguin up close. One of them had a band around its wing but it was the wrong way so he carefully changed the band over so its number can be easily read. We soon learnt that even though they look cute and lovely, they have a very sharp beak and are very quick to peck at you. Luckily Mike has a special permit which allows him to touch the penguins.
The most exciting part of the visit was learning that the boys are going to be part of a Massey University study into the penguins. Wellesley College is going to be involved in its own citizen science project. The boys are going to be taught about monitoring and recording the penguins. This makes their learning so much more valuable, this is real science and the boys are excited to be able to contribute to the study. It's going to be an ongoing project and long term we are hoping that Wellesley will be involved on a regular basis.