It is Sunday night and I am dying of heat here in the Yukon so I thought to help beat the summer sun I would write a post about a true winter bird, the Little Penguin. But wait! This particular penguin lives in New Zealand, Australia and some have even been recorded in Chile. I don’t think those places are nearly cold enough to give me a reprieve from my summer heat. Oh well, we are this far into the fact so we might as well continue.
As you may have guessed the Little Penguin also known as the Fairy Penguin in Australia gets its name from their small size. This “little” Penguin is about 35 – 50 cm (14-20″) tall and weighs up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs). Not surprising this penguin provides a great snack to many land-based predators. In an attempt to thwart becoming dessert the Little Penguin will spend the entire year in a large colony. You know the old “safety in numbers” thing. This makes sense because if I was that small I would surround myself with as many “friends” as possible hoping one of them gets picked off before me.
This little blue penguin is a deadly predator itself. They may be small but they are still carnivores and like other penguins feed entirely on marine animals. If they had to choose a favourite then it would probably be krill or other small crustaceans since they make up the majority of their diet. When they are in the mood for something different they will mix up their diet with squid or certain fish species. You gotta love seafood!
The Little Penguin is much like other penguins in that they usually mate for life. The female will normally lay two eggs into a self-dug burrow which both parents will incubate over the following month. Many times only one of the eggs will hatch and will cause the parents to blame each other for ruining the other egg. Okay, they obviously don’t bicker like that, well I don’t think they do. Once the baby Penguin is born the parents will feed it and keep it warm for about 3 months. I don’t know what it is about penguins but I find all species to be very fascinating. I hope you enjoyed today’s Wild Fact. I am off to enjoy the rest of my day off. I love long weekends!