If you follow this blog, by now you know that I am a bird lover. Birds have always intrigued me…they are a piece of the wind, winged beings that go places where humans can only dream.

As a child, I use to spend many summer hours trying to catch the birds that would flock to our Arizona yard and I would nurse the injured birds that hit our window back to health. As the years passed, I finally decided to capture the birds on paper. I have been drawing and painting birds ever since. To view my paintings, visit: www.lorimcnee.com
My trip to New Zealand brought the child back out in me  – which isn’t really that hard to do! In this short video below, I share one of my favorite experiences of New Zealand with you.  Along with the author of the soon-to-be-published book, ‘PenguinPedia’, our guide took us on an adventure into the remote, temperate rain forests in search of the shy Fiordland Penguin.
These little penguins are the second most rare penguins in the world. Like the majority of native New Zealand birds, the Fiordland Crested Penguins aka ‘Tawaki’, are ground nesting birds. The birds of New Zealand are especially vulnerable to the many predators which have sadly been introduced by white man within the past 150 years. Possums, rats, weasels and even house cats and dogs are wrecking havoc on the ground dwelling birds including the penguins.
Little is know about these penguins. Although they live in colonies, they are reclusive and difficult to study. But, I know now from experience that the Fiordland Crested Penguins are extremely shy, and if over-stressed, they will even abandon their nests for the safety of the ocean. Awkward on land, these little dapper looking birds are graceful and torpedo like underwater. Instead of flying, these unique birds use their wings for paddling which helps them ‘fly’ through the water.
In this video, you can see how cautious these birds were about maneuvering around us. We kept our distance and enjoyed our hours on the beach with the Fiordland Crested Penguin. I hope you enjoy this 2.30 min video!

You might also enjoy:
New Zealand: Painting & Playing in the ‘God Zone’
How to Paint Iridescent Bird Feathers
How to Interpret the Landscape in Paint
Plum TV Presents: “A Day in the Life of Lori McNee Artist”