|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Little Blue Penguin (Korora) (Eudyptula minor) |
What type of animal? Bird (flightless)
Where does it live? Southern coastline of Australia and New Zealand
Natural habitat? Beach and foreshore
What does it eat? Fish, squid and crustaceans
Introducing the littlest one. The little blue penguin (korora) is the smallest of the 18 species of penguins in the world, and is one of 13 species found along New Zealand’s coastline. Your average little blue penguin stands 45cm tall and weighs in at 1 kg.
Well suited. Adult blue penguins have varying shades of blue on their back, or dorsal flippers. The underparts, chin, and underside of the flippers are white. This provides counter shading…difficult to see from above the water as they blend in with the sea colour – and seen from underneath the water, their whitish underfeathers blend in with the water surface and the light above.
Daytime’s for eating, nightime’s for partying! Favourite foods include fish, squid and crustaceans. At night they like to get together and love making lots of noise.
Baby sitting! 2 eggs are laid in burrows, between September and November. Both parents care for the young for about 2 months.
Life’s easy if you’re little and cute? Not for penguins! In the water natural predators, oil spills, fishing lines, nets, boat motors and pollution all threaten these birds. On land, people, cars, bikes, horses, the destruction of habitats and introduced animals have all had an impact. Penguins, unable to fly and nesting shorebirds are easy victims.
Shedding feathers. Penguins have more feathers than most birds, and with a ‘do it yourself’ waterproofer provided by the oil gland near its tail, much time is spent in ‘preening’. But once a year they come ashore for a couple of weeks to ‘moult’ – shed their old feathers. While they are moulting they don’t eat, and must wait until their new feathers are ready for the sea. This makes them an easy prey for dogs, cats, stoats and ferrets, and people, who pick them up thinking they need help.
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