Meet the little blue penguin, also known as kororā, Eudyptula minor or the fairy penguin!
These species are native to New Zealand and are also found in Southern Australia. These are the smallest of the penguin species and are primarily nocturnal, nesting in coastal areas and foraging within 25km of the shore. They are common in areas protected from disturbance and predators and many colonies are in decline due to predation by introduced predators.
Little blue penguins nest on land in caves, crevices and in a variety of man-made nesting boxes. Each breeding season, penguins are monogamous, sharing incubation and chick rearing duties for 18-38 days of brooding and 7-8 weeks before the chicks fledge. Chicks are easily identifiable from their small size and brown fluffy down feathers, recent fledglings are a bright blue colour dorsally.
One of my favourite fun facts about the little blue penguins is at they congregate in small groups offshore while foraging, known as rafts. These penguins forage both solitarily and in groups, with their prey consisting of small schooling fish, squid and crustaceans.
At Auckland Zoo, you can meet rescued little blue penguins which have withstood injuries which means they would not be able to survive in the wild.
More penguiny goodness is coming soon! My BLAKE ambassadorship starts in 2 weeks and I will be heading to Dunedin to play with little blue penguins!