|Little Blue Penguin|
|Scientific Name:||Eudyptula minor|
|World Conservation Union|
|Height:||Up to 43cm (16in)|
|Location:||The Little Penguin breeds along the entire coastline of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, Tasmania, and southern Australia.|
|Feathers:||The head and upperparts are indigo in colour, with slate-grey ear coverts fading to white underneath, from the chin to the belly. The flippers are indigo above and white underneath. The irises are a pale silvery- or bluish-grey or hazel, and the are feet whitish above with black soles and webbing. An immature individual will have a shorter bill and paler upperparts.|
|Beak:||The dark grey-black bill is 3–4cm long|
'flightless bird but their wings are ideal for diving
Little Blue penguins are the smallest species of all penguin species. They are also called Fairy penguins.
Little Blue penguins spend their days out at sea hunting for food in the shallow waters close to the shore. At dusk they return to their burrows or rock crevice colonies, which can be quite noisy especially before their dawn departure back to sea to feed. Since they feed so near to shore they are easy to see from land. Most of their food is caught on shallow dives to depths less than 30 feet but they will sometimes dive to the seabed in search of prey. They eat small fish such as anchovies, like most penguins, they swallow their food whole.
The times the females lay eggs is generally June through August. They will lay two eggs at a time which take approximately five weeks to hatch. Little Blues may have one, two, or even three broods (clutches) in a season. Nests are usually located in sheltered rock crevices but where these are not available they dig long burrows instead. Most little blue penguins mate for life with both males and females incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
Throughout their first three weeks the chicks are attended to constantly. Over the next five weeks adults visit them only to feed them regurgitated food. After this period, the young fledglings are then forced from the nest. They naturally know how to swim and are able to fish and fend for themselves.
There are many threats to the survival of these penguins both natural and man made. They face predators at sea such as: sharks, seals (Lion, Leopard, and Fur), Killer whales and predators on land such as: Sea Eagles and large Gulls. Man-made hazards include: oil spills, plastic, road kills, gill net fishing and loss of breeding habitats.
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