Little Penguin - Little Blue Fairy


little penguin

 

One of the most popular zoo attractions in major zoos across the world is unfailingly the penguin sanctuary. People love penguins, and it's easy to see why. These funny little marine birds are a favorite of kids and adults everywhere. Just about everyone pictures squatty little birds tottering around ice and swimming in frozen arctic waters. Of course, that image of penguins isn't flawed - see king penguins to see some really cool ice-dwelling birds, but did you know that not all of these tux-wearing goofbirds live where it's very cold? And they don't all wear black tuxedos.

 

 

couple little blue penguins

 

The "little penguin" - sometimes called the "little blue penguin" (so named for its striking azure coat) or sometimes "fairy penguins" are native to the southern coasts of Australia and New Zealand. The smallest species of penguin in the world, these birds grow to only about 13 inches in height (33 cm).

 

baby little penguin

 

Just like the penguins you normally see in the zoo, these tiny birds are flightless, with "wings" which have developed into flippers that help them swim in the waters around their coastal homes. They are such good swimmers, in fact, that from dawn to dusk of each day the little blue birds swim beneath the waves. During their time beneath the water, they hunt for their diet of squid, small fish and other small sea creatures. Fact: while the average lifespan in the wild is about 7 years, in captivity where there are no larger predators to threaten them, they live much longer - in some rare cases up to 25 years. Poor guys - it appears that seals in the areas where they live eat more than their fair share of little penguins, so they must always be a little afraid when they have to go out looking for food themselves.

The little penguin is non-threatened and quite populous and thriving in their island habitat.

 

little blue fariy penguins

 

 

 

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