Annie and I visited Aunty Sue at Harewood house today. Aunty Sue had suggested we meet in the restaurant to have some lunch before feeding the penguins. Annie loves birds and for the past couple of days we have been talking about the birds in the Harewood house bird garden and reading books about penguins. Today we even brought our own toy penguin to visit the real ones. The sun shone in a cloudless sky as we sat eating quiche on the terrace over looking the penguin’s enclosure. Annie kept climbing down from the table in order to go and investigate her new favourite birds. Little did she or I know that Aunty Sue had a surprise in store for us. At two o’clock the penguin keeper arrived with a bucket full of fish and after a brief conversation with Aunty Sue, Annie and I were ushered over and bid follow him into the penguin’s enclosure. Aunty Sue had arranged for Annie and I to feed the penguins. We were so excited. Annie was a little taken aback when we were surrounded by the little black and white birds all wanting some fish. She soon acclimatised though sensibly kept her hands close to her body. The keeper was very patient with his novice penguin helpers and we are now much more knowledgeable about our feathered friends. For instance I had no idea that penguins eat constantly for around a month before moulting. They look like little fat balls then shed all their feathers in one go and are naked for three weeks until the new growth occurs. Penguins have no teeth just rubbery fins on their tongues to aid the foods progress into their gullets. Girl penguins at Harewood wear a ring on their left wing and boys on the right. Feeding time came to an end and Annie and I returned to Aunty Sue with big smiles on our faces and a slight odour of sardine to remind us of our exciting adventure in the penguins house.


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