Little Blue Penguin

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image: litbluepenguin.jpg

Common Name: Little Blue Penguin
Scientific Name: Eudyptula minor

Size: 16 inches (41 cm)

Habitat: Oceania; found in large colonies on the southern coast of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. They spend their days out at sea hunting for food but at night they return to their burrow or rock crevice.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown. Global warming is considered a threat.

Diet: Fish, squid and crustaceans. They mainly make shallow dives up to 30 ft in depth to catch prey but sometimes they will dive down to the ocean floor.

Nesting: Little Penguins usually mate for life and their breeding season is variable although it usually begins in August or September. They construct nests in a sheltered rock crevice or they dig a burrow in which to lay their eggs.

Females lay 2 eggs, but depending on the availability of food supplies they may lay up to 3 clutches of eggs in one breeding season. Both parents incubate the eggs and after approximately 5 weeks the chicks hatch.

Up until the chicks are 3 weeks old they are closely cared for by both parents, but for the following 5 weeks both adults go to sea to hunt, only returning to the chicks to feed them. When the youngsters reach 8 weeks old they are ready to leave the nest and fend for themselves.

Cool Facts: The Little Blue is the smallest species of penguin.

The main predators of Little Penguins include southern fur seals, leopard seals, sea lions, killer whales, foxes, dogs, cats, sea eagles and large gulls. Eggs and chicks fall prey to rats, weasels, stoats, snakes and lizards.


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