Posted on 16/08/2016 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Spring is in the air on Phillip Island
As the days start getting longer and there is a hint of warmth in the air, our thoughts turn to spring on Phillip Island and another season full of promise for our wonderful wildlife!
The little penguins are getting right into the swing of things! For those penguins still looking for love, the males have renovated their burrows in an effort to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Nature Parks’ researchers have reported that many burrows already have two very podgy penguins inside, busily preparing for the breeding season. We should start seeing the first of the eggs very soon, leading to some very chubby and fluffy chicks. They don’t stay fluffy for long though, as chicks usually only take between 8 and 11 weeks to fledge and find their own way in the world.
It seems like only yesterday we bade them farewell on their northbound migration, but millions of these amazing birds are currently on their way to the southern hemisphere. Their incredible trip of around 15,000km takes up to 8 weeks as they fly from the northern feeding grounds in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska to arrive here in late September. Over one million shearwaters will breed on Phillip Island before starting the cycle all over again and returning to the northern hemisphere in April.
Cape Barren geese:
These big grey birds with their fluorescent green beaks are a familiar sight right across the island, and there are plenty of gorgeous, stripy young chicks to be seen. They grow incredibly quickly from tiny little fuzzballs through the awkward and ungainly ‘teen’ period to mum and dad size within a short couple of months. Do take extra care in your car if you’re on the island over the next little while, as these birds are not known for their road sense.
Without going into too much detail, the male koalas are developing that pungent aroma that is a sure sign they are thinking about breeding. Our rangers tell us it’s not the best smell, and so far the female koalas don’t seem too thrilled about it either, but it’s only early days in the koala world, so hopefully we will be seeing some wonderful little koala joeys in the near future.
About Phillip Island Nature Parks
Located 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island Nature Parks is a not-for-profit ecotourism organisation that manages 1805 hectares of Phillip Island, encompassing wildlife sanctuaries, wetlands, woodlands and breathtaking coastlines. The Nature Parks also engages in research, education and environment programs designed to protect Phillip Island’s unique flora and fauna. All profit generated is re-invested into research, environment, conservation, infrastructure and community projects.