Rockhoppers In Austria

July 2, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that feathered friends with interesting hairdoo’s are the latest additions to the penguin enclosure at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo in Austria.

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The magnificent seven Rockhopper penguins were born in mid April and went public only this week in their enclosure in the Austrian capital.
 Zoo Director Dagmar Schratter said: “The penguins now weigh around 2 kilos. They have their first moulting behind them. Their waterproof feathers are almost completely covering their bodies and they already have their white chests on show. Soon they will be learning to swim.”
Penguin’s black and white plumage serves as camouflage while swimming. The black plumage on their back is hard to see from above, while the white plumage on their front looks like the sun reflecting off the surface of the water when seen from below.
The Rockhopper penguins are endangered in the wild with only around 265,000 pairs thought to exist in the wild. Over the last 37 years the population is thought to have declined by 60 percent mainly due to overfishing of the seas as well as pollution and climate change.

Noodles and Albie: The Critics Give It Two Flippers Up

July 2, 2014

Noodles and Albie has only been out for a day, but the early reviews are all flippers up. Way up!  And that doesn’t include my mom.  Now that we’re actually taking orders and shipping the books out, we can’t wait to here from the penguin loving public.  Also, if you’d like a personalized autographed copy of Noodles & Albie from Eric, Liz or both just mention it in the comment box of our check page when ordering.

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HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT NOODLES & ALBIE

 

“Noodles & Albie is a delightful book about penguins, friendship, and growing up that will be enjoyed by children of all ages. The charming illustrations bring the many adventures of Noodles to life. And, while following Noodles’ escapades, children will also be learning about actual Emperor penguin biology and behavior. Two flippers up for Noodles & Albie!”

Dyan deNapoli – The Penguin Lady TED Talks Penguin expert and award-winning author of The Great Penguin Rescue

 

“Who doesn’t love penguins? Kids of all ages will fall head over flippers for Noodles and his undersea adventure with his fishy friend Able! Charmingly illustrated with beautiful, detailed watercolors by Liz Bannish.”

Michael Chesworth- Award winning illustrator and author of Alphboat & Archibald Frisby and Illustrator of Pippi Longstocking (Omnibus Edition)

 

Liz Bannish’s watercolor illustrations delight in Noodles & Albie’s sheer cuteness. A sweet, fun story by Eric Bennett of penguins and friendship.

Gersh Kuntzman – New York Daily News

 

“Bennett and Bannish’s debut is an adorable story that is beautifully illustrated. A delightful read for penguin loving parents and children from start to finish.”

Barbara Miller – Collection Curator Museum Of Moving Images

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Noodles and Albie – The Long And Waddling Road

July 1, 2014

It’s been 16 months since we began this journey to create a penguin picture book adventure about a sweet penguin named Noodles and his feisty friend Albie, but the Penguin Post is happy to report that at long last Noodles & Albie is finally, really, truly here.   From the early reviews and receptions at readings, it was worth the wait.   Small Batch Press did a wonderful  job designing the book out with an original esthetic and yet at the same time with a timeless, classic, feel, and Liz Bannish’s fourteen glorious water color illustrations shine throughout. noodlesandalbiefrontcover

The story behind Noodles & Albie evolved over many years. It was initially conceived by Penguin Gift Shop founder and long time penguin lover Eric Bennett as a bedtime story for his young daughters, Sophie and Rose.  The tale was originally called The Fish & The Penguin, or the Fishy Penguin Story, and was mostly told and re-told from Eric’s memory and imagination.  The title and plot was ever changing depending on who the story was being read to and how much time Eric had to devote to the telling.

A couple of years back for a fun winter project with his daughter Sophie the story was finally put down on paper.

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Then in January 2013 Eric was “volunteered” by his youngest daughter Rose to read a story to her kindergarten class. Rather than read something from their bookshelf, Eric decided to at long last put The Fish & The Penguin to paper for real and read his time tested penguin adventure to Rose’s class.  But, this time he decided to name main characters, Noodles & Albie.  Noodles (Eric’s nickname since he was a kid) & Albie (the nickname of his friend Melissa) was finally settled on so as not to upset either Sophie or Rose, as well as to give the characters a bit more personality than the generic “Fish & Penguin”.  Besides, it seemed from the start that the names Noodles & Albie fit the story perfectly.  The reading to Ms. Bussone’s kindergarten class that cold winter morning was met with much fanfare.  With an unprecedented standing ovation from a kindergarten class!

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A small Noodles & Albie buzz was now in the air, with Eric getting requests for printed copies of the story from a few children and parents at Bridge St. School. It didn’t take much coaxing for Eric to do an additional reading for the schools other kindergarten and first grade classes, which were again very well received.  A short time later, the story was brought to the attention of his friend and local artist Liz Bannish.  She was so intrigued by the charming penguin tale and colorful characters that naturally Eric inquired if she would be interested in illustrating the story. To his surprise Liz said sure, and the two began to collaborate on bringing Noodles, Albie and their undersea world to life.

Over the following weeks Liz’s illustrations went from Eric’s black and white storyboard sketches to a series of beautifully detailed watercolor paintings, capturing the essence of the story with Liz’s unique take on the characters that inhabit it.

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During this time Eric and Liz shopped for a publisher and after lots of wrangling and false starts Noodles and Albie finally found a home with Small Batch Books.  Being first time authors we decided to take our time the last couple of months to make sure everything turned out the way we wanted, and we’re happy to say we think it did.  We hope you do too.

So if you have kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends that have kids or if your kid is going to a birthday party.  We think Noodles & Albie is the perfect gift for you and that little penguin lover in all of us.

 

All Black Penguin!

June 30, 2014

The Penguin Post asks how big is a zillion? It’s “an extremely large, indeterminate number,” according to Dictionary.com. And how rare is an all-black penguin, rather than the black-and-white tuxedo-like colorings on most of the adorable, big, wabbly birds? It’s a one-in-a-zillion mutation, scientists say.
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On a recent trip for National Geographic Traveler magazine to the continent that is the world’s southern tip — Antarctica — Contributing Editor Andrew Evans spotted one and got pictures and video of it. He was doing a story on getting there from Washington, D.C. mostly by bus. Evans saw the penguin on the island of South Georgia, just off Antarctica, during the trip’s last leg – a boat ride from Venezuela.  Group members disembarked on South Georgia when they saw the penguin. The birds have no natural fear of humans, so Evans sat on the ground in front of the penguin when he captured it on camera. Other naturalists on the ship said the bird had been spotted on other trips, which means it’s been around awhile. From what Evans could see, the black penguin assimilated well with the others, and even appeared to have a black-and-white mate. There are some partially-black penguins, about one in every quarter million, scientists say. But this is the only one known to exist that is all black.

Patriotic Penguin Cupcakes

June 29, 2014

Here’s a little holiday weekend treat suggestion from the Penguin Post. These fun penguin cupcakes will make for a fun, cool desert  after your 4th of July BBQ.   Use doughnut holes to form the penguin and then dip them in melted chocolate frosting. Then they are ready to decorate with appropriate candies or red, white and blue sprinkles for that patriot penguin look.

Attach donut holes to an unfrosted cupcake of any flavor. Frosting is the mortar that holds the shapes together. Once the whole structure is finished, place in the freezer until frosting is firm.

Place chocolate frosting in a 1- to 2-cup microwavable measuring cup. Microwave for 5 to 10 seconds until it’s the consistency of lightly whipped cream.


Hold the cupcake by its bottom and dip the top in the melted frosting up to the edge of the paper liner.


Lift the cupcake and allow the excess frosting to drip off.

Quickly turn the cupcake upright. You can pop any small bubbles with a toothpick.

Get creative and use fruit chews, small candies, and dyed frosting to add finishing touches to your penguin cupcakes. Serve up for an adorable penguin treat!

Penguins In Duck Country

June 28, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that three penguin chicks at the Oregon Zoo have emerged from their nests and are now exploring their surroundings. The Humboldt penguin chicks hatched in March, and Humboldt chicks usually fledge at about 3 months old.

The chicks — named Aqua, Xolas and Olle — are almost as tall as the adult birds, but are still gray and lack the classic tuxedo penguin pattern.  But fear not, they’ll grow into that outfit in a couple of years.  Wild Humboldt penguins live along the coast of Peru and Chile. The birds are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to a release from the zoo, and were granted protection in 2010 under the United States Endangered Species Act.

If you’re in the neighborhood, Oregon Zoo visitors can see the young birds  and all the other penguins waddling around and swimming in the zoo’s penguinarium.

A Humboldt penguin chick explores the Oregon Zoo Penguinarium

A Humboldt penguin chick explores the Oregon Zoo Penguinarium

 

King Penguin Chicks Have Built In GPS

June 26, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that displaced King penguin chicks navigate well in pairs as they find their way back to base in their colony, according to a new study. King penguin chicks gather together in “creches” as they wait for parents to return with food, and if a chick gets moved to a different place in the colony it is important to get back so that the parents can find it, says researcher Anna Nesterova from the University of Oxford in England. “King penguin colonies are very crowded and can stretch for more almost a mile on the relatively flat and featureless beaches, yet individual penguins still know how to find their place within such colonies,” she says.

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‘King penguin colonies are very crowded and can stretch for more than 1km on the relatively flat and featureless beaches, yet individuals know how to find their place within such colonies’

Nesterova and colleagues tracked 31 pairs of chicks that were artificially separated from their creches as they made their way back to the correct part of the Ratmanoff colony on the Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean about midway between Australia, South Africa and Antarctica.

Kerguelen_MapThe chicks navigated well in pairs, and even took turns leading in some cases. Also, pairs from the same creche arrived closer to their original location than pairs where the individual chicks were from different creches. The study, which was funded by the Institut Polaire Français and Marie Curie Actions and published in Animal Behaviour, will help us to better understand group navigation in animals, according to Nesterova, who was surprised at how quickly the chicks from different creches split up along their path back. “The chicks like to be in a group, but going towards the right destination seems to be more important,” she says. “It makes sense: if you do not know where your partner is heading, it is better not to take the risk and end up at the wrong end of the colony.”

The Day A Brooklyn Penguin Was Stolen

June 25, 2014
African Penguins at Coney Island Aquarium

African Penguins at Coney Island Aquarium

The Penguin Post has learned that on May 9, 1965 a bunch of teenagers made off with a penguin from the New York Aquarium in Coney Island and then took him for a ride on the subway.  Why would they steal a penguin, you ask?  They never really answered that question because the authorities never caught them, but the simple answer is most likely, why not?

The story goes like this: an MTA policeman was on routine patrol on the subway at Stillwell Avenue when he spots a group of teens hop on his subway car carrying a cardboard box. The kids spot the officer, and calmly leave the train at the next station, but leave the box with the penguin in it behind. The box begins to move getting the officers attention.

Being near the beach the policeman figures at first that it’s a seagull so he picks up the box to take it outside and release it.  Upon opening it and getting nipped  he notices this is not even close to being a seagull. It’s a penguin!

He then secures the box, assumes that this fugitive penguin has come from the aquarium and calls them to check.  Lo and behold the aquarium makes a penguin head count and they find they’re a penguin down, so the officer gets back on the train and a few stops later the penguin was returned safely.

BTW, a pilfered penguin incident happened again at the aquarium in 1967. After that the penguin exhibit was redesigned to keep the penguins in and people out.  The Penguin Post learned all this after stumbling across this fun New York Historical Society video.

 

Emperor Penguins On The Move

June 24, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that Emperor penguins, thought to be tied to a single breeding location, are willing to relocate their nesting grounds in response to climate change, according to a recent studies. 

penguinResearchers tracked penguin colonies through satellite images over three years and reported six instances of them shifting to different locations in response to changing temperatures.  Up until now, it was believed that emperor penguins return to the same breeding grounds annually. The behavior is also known as philopatric behavior.  “Our research showing that colonies seem to appear and disappear throughout the years challenges behaviors we thought we understood about emperor penguins,” said UM researcher Michelle LaRue, in the press release.  “If we assume that these birds come back to the same locations every year, without fail, these new colonies we see on satellite images wouldn’t make any sense,” she said. ” These birds didn’t just appear out of thin air — they had to have come from somewhere else.” Researchers were concerned lately that retreating sea ice caused by climate change could affect the colony that breeds on it. However the recent satellite images showed the area is not isolated at all.  “That means we need to revisit how we interpret population changes and the causes of those changes,” LaRue added.

14th Anniversary Of The Great Penguin Rescue

June 23, 2014

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the rescuing of 40,000 African penguins following the Treasure oil spill in 2000 – an animal rescue that still stands as the largest and most successful ever undertaken.

African penguins oiled in the June 23, 2000 Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Tony Van Dalsen

African penguins oiled in the June 23, 2000 Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Tony Van Dalsen

All told thousands of professionals and volunteers managed to save 90% of the 19,000 penguins that were oiled, and 95% of the 38,500 penguins that were handled.

Release of cleaned and rehabilitated African penguins following the Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa. (The pink spots are a temporary dye to indicate the birds are ready for release, and to help researchers spot them on their islands.) Photo by Tony Van Dalsen, DAFF

Release of cleaned and rehabilitated African penguins following the Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa. (The pink spots are a temporary dye to indicate the birds are ready for release, and to help researchers spot them on their islands.) Photo by Tony Van Dalsen, DAFF

In addition to the 19,000 oiled birds, another 19,500 unoiled penguins were moved out of the path of the rapidly approaching oil slick.  This incredible undertaking is well documented in Dyan DeNapoli’s book, The Great Penguin Rescue.

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