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|August 10, 2010|
|Greetings again from beautiful South Africa! Nola had me come into SANCCOB today. Since yesterday was a holiday, they needed to take blood and weights on all the birds today. We took blood from every last penguin, gull, pettrel and gannet they have here at SANCCOB. Nola had me restrain for her and I got to see how they take blood from the ankle (since I haven't seen that before). I learned how to restrain all of the flighted birds, and let me tell you – if you ever have to restrain a cape gannet, they are quite difficult! After we finished taking all of the blood samples, Nola relied on me to run all the tests. I have become quite a pro at reading all of the PCVs and protein levels (it's really not that hard, it just sounds impressive!) All of that pretty much took all morning, so then for the afternoon I have just been entering all of the lab results for all of the island samples we took. I have been watching the home pen here quite a bit for the last couple days. It is where they keep and house all of their non-releasable birds. There are nests set up for them and a large pool to swim in. The volunteers even buy the birds their enrichment items! Although one particular pair of birds steals them all for nesting material (remind anyone of Grey/Yellow and Red/Pink?). They have quite a few Africans, two Rockhoppers, and a few Commorants and Gannets living in there. But watching the home pen is better than a daytime soap opera! Currently, there are two female penguins paired up, but a juvenile male is trying to steal one away. Then, the bald Rockhopper, Mia, is trying to court Rocky the Rockhopper, but he is not interested at all. Then the dominant pair, the pair with all the toys, make their way around the entire pen and put everyone else in their place! It is really quite comical! Nola is trying to prepare for the International Penguin Conference today. I think she will be spending the afternoon rehearsing her presentation for Venessa. Tomorrow or Thursday we are probably still going to Robben Island to do the retraps, but we have canceled the Dassen Island trip. The weather has just been rough and the seas have had some big swells. Nola is worried about getting there and back and preparing to leave this weekend to return to the U.S. On whichever day we don't go to Robben Island, Nola wants me to help with washing the six oiled birds they have. She is trying to really get me involved in that so I can get that experience under my belt. I think it would be great to better understand that process so I am looking forward to it! That's it for now!|
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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