A trip to the zoo is not complete without a visit to the penguins. However, in New Zealand, many nature lovers prefer to get a glimpse of this beloved bird, and specifically the Little Blue Penguin, in its natural habitat. This particular type is often referred to as the fairy penguin. This is mainly due to its size, as it is the smallest of all penguins.
Threats to this Species
As with most species, the Little Blue Penguin has its own predators to deal with. For them, dogs and cats post the biggest threats. No, we’re not talking about ferocious cats like the ones you see in the adventure game Castle Cats, we’re referring to regular domestic animals. The penguin’s small size makes this species a target for most predators and their safest region to live in, within New Zealand, is along the offshore islands.
Getting to See the Little Blue Penguins
The best time to get a good view of the Little Blue Penguins is in May and June, as they come to shore during these months to build their nests on land. They like to find areas where they can burrow down to hide the nests or settle safely under vegetation.
Aside from building homes, the penguins also head inland between November and March. During this time, they shed their feathers and new ones form to give them waterproof protection. This is a precarious time for them, as they are unable to swim whilst going through the shedding process. However, it can be hard to spot this penguin, as they normally only come to shore when it is dark.
As the penguins like to build their nests where humans are present, residents have to be careful not to disturb their nests. This can sometimes cause inconvenience, as the penguins may decide to build their nests in places that affect the human’s territory. So far, the solution to this issue has been resolved through building nest boxes for the penguins, which they seem to appreciate.