The Trust encourages the public to be invisible and inaudible when viewing yellow-eyed penguins, preferably using a hide or viewing point where the penguin is unaware of humans. Beaches adjacent to penguin nest areas should be vacated during the times when the birds are coming in or leaving for sea. This is generally from mid-afternoon until dark but the major time of return is late afternoon/early evening. If you are caught on the beach or a track by a returning yellow-eyed penguin the best thing is to talk quietly, and move away when the opportunity arises. Do not move toward the penguin or it may flee back to sea.
Please remember these guidelines:
- Do not approach or follow the birds (use binoculars from a distance). This is particularly important during the breeding season when adults may abandon their chicks if disturbed.
- Hide so they can’t see you (squat down low if you can’t hide so you are not as visible)
- Talk quietly and move slowly
- Keep to the formed tracks or along the beach
- Do not take your dog anywhere near penguins – they may kill them
- Moulting birds may look sick as they stand still and lose their feathers. Leave them well alone as this is natural and a very stressful time for them.