Thursday, 23 July 2009


Photo taken this week showing our Humboldt Penguins in moult

Since 1997 Seaview Wildlife Encounter has been involved in an international breeding and conservation programme for HUMBOLDT PENGUINS. These are an endangered species with only 10 000 estimated still surviving in the wild. The Park currently has a thriving breeding colony comprising 40 Humboldts - nine of which were hatched this year and are only 14 weeks old. They are all on view to the visiting public. Talks take place twice a day (11.30am and 3.30pm) and visitors have the opportunity to assist with feeding during these times.

In the wild, Humboldts spend most of their lives in the ocean, only coming ashore to moult and to breed. The annual moult is catastrophic - the birds lose all their feathers before growing completely new plumage. Immediately prior to the moult the penguins gorge themselves on fish, instinctively knowing they are about to lose their waterproof covering for a few days. After gorging, the penguins swell up - including their flippers - at the Park this results in the keepers needing to cut off their ID tags to allow for expansion, before replacing them once the swelling has returned to normal. The photo on the left, taken this week at the Park shows an adult Humboldt penguin in moult - looking swollen and quite shabby!

After a few days of looking swollen and scruffy the penguins grow a completely new set of feathers and look really striking. The photo on the right taken at the Park this week clearly shows one of our adult penguins immediately after the moult in his handsome new plumage - enabling him to be waterborne and fully waterproof once more!

Nesting Chilean Flamingos


Seaview Wildlife Encounter has long been home to three different species of Flamingos (Chilean, Carribean and Lesser). This week's blog is focussing on the CHILEAN (pictured here) who haven't bred at the Park during the last three years. However, visitors to the Park, over the past few weeks, have been able to witness exciting breeding displays, mating and nest-building activity. The good news is that the Chileans are now sitting on eggs! All being well we'll be able to share their progress with you via this blog in the week's ahead.

A few points of interest about CHILEAN FLAMINGOS:

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phoenicopterus chilensis
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Peru and Uruguay to Tierra del Fuego - South America CONSERVATION STATUS: Special Concern
SUMMARY: One of the most picturesque and beautiful birds in the world.

REPRODUCTION: Flamingos breed during the months of March through to July. Nests are constructed of mud and the female lays one egg, which she and the male incubate for one month. During incubation, flamingos straddle the nest, placing their long legs either side of it. The egg is elongated, chalky white and the yolk is blood red. The chicks are born grey with a straight bill, the upper mandible has a slight hook. The young chicks are fed by their parents by regurgitation. They are agile, good at running and swimming from an early age.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

During the day our orphaned Wallaby Joey hops around with others in the wallaby 'mob', enjoying the summer sunshine. The keepers take it in turns to feed him a delicious mixture of evaporated milk, organic fruit juice, mashed calf pellets and banana through a syringe. At night he sleeps in a backpack lined with a soft fleece blanket – simulating his mother’s pouch. The youngster is thriving on extra cuddles from the keepers and seems to love being the focus of attention from visitors to the Park and the Media!


The keepers at Seaview Wildlife Encounter arrived at work on Saturday morning July 4th, 2009 to discover one of their older female wallabies had died overnight leaving behind a Joey aged approximately 6 months old. The youngster, who is a healthy, bouncing male, is responding extremely well to supplementary feeding by the keepers (he is already eating some solids) and loves grazing on grass when he’s outside!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Blog Launch

Today, here at Seaview Wildlife Park, we have launched our blog page. We are the first wildlife tourist attraction to join the blogging generation on the Isle of Wight! Here you can follow our weekly updates and events throughout the season.

We will post regular updates of the many fun happenings at our beautiful Park. Reports and notes from the keepers and managers will be included as well as selected images and amusing stories.

If you have recently visited the Park, or are about to, our blog may form an interesting context to your visit by allowing you to get to know more about our residents (both animals and human).

Please check in regularly to read our posts and enjoy our photos.

Thanks for your first visit.

The Team.