Whyte Weddings Photography
Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor)
Contributed by Rosemary Tully of Whakatane Bird Rescue.
Photos by Alex Eagles Tully and Rosemary Tully.
Page sponsor is Whyte
Weddings Photography. Wedding Photographers at Ohope, Whakatane and
the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Maori name: Koroa
The little blue penguin is the smallest in the penguin family and a
common native bird; it is not endangered but is predated on by dogs, cats
and stoats etc.
Humans also can interfere with this little bird.
The above photograph shows an adult penguin coming ashore on dusk.
Penguins cannot fly, but are very fast swimmers.
Food eaten by these penguins includes squid and small fish.
They leave the sea on dusk and return to the sea again before dawn.
The bird nests in burrows, or under logs, and in caves, even under houses!
Little blue penguins nest at Otarawairere and use beaches along the coast
to get to their nest sites.
They can also be seen in Ohiwa Harbour.
Nesting takes place from July through to December and up to two eggs are
laid, the eggs hatch after approximately 35-40+ days and chicks fledge
(leave the nest) at around 55+ days.
Once leaving the nest they are on their own, having to catch their food
The photograph to the right shows a baby little blue penguin peeping
out of its nest in rocks.
After the chicks fledge the parents spend the time building up their
body fat to take them through the moult. Moulting
takes place from December to March depending on when the chicks have fledged.
During this time (just over two weeks) the penguins cannot go to sea as
they lose their waterproofing qualities.
The photograph to the left shows a penguin in its moult.
The head and under its bill has nearly been replaced by new feathers
and once all the old feathers have fallen out the bird can return to the
Sometimes penguins are found on the beaches during the day, and are
usually found to be underweight or injured.
It is not the natural behaviour of the penguin to be on a beach during
the day. It can
be harassed by dogs and humans or, if a hot day, suffer in the heat.
© Ohope Beach.info 2003