Little Penguin Click to enlarge image
Little Penguin Image: Tatters
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    LEAST CONCERN (LC)
  • Classification
    Species
    minor
    Genus
    Eudyptula
    Family
    Spheniscidae
    Order
    Sphenisciformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebra
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Maximum size up to 40 cm

Little Penguins can spend weeks away at sea, dozing and eating among the waves.

Identification

It is blue to black on its head and back, belly white. Flippers are black with a white edge. Bill dark brown and feet pink to light grey. Little penguins are the smallest penguin species in the world and prefer rocks and sand rather than snow and ice.

Habitat

Coastal waters

Distribution

Southern mainland Australia and Tasmania



Feeding and diet

Fish, squid, krill and small crustaceans

Breeding behaviours

Their waterproof feathers keep them warm and dry. They usually build their nests in crevices between rocks or burrows in September. The male penguins attract a mate by doing the digging, often reconstructing old nests. The female will lay two eggs and the pair take turns incubating the eggs in one or two day shifts. Both eggs may hatch but usually only once chick survives.

Conversation status

In NSW some populations are endangered.