This small (32 to 34 cm), blue and white penguin is a common sight along the coastline of southern Australia, from Perth, Western Australia, to about Nelsons Bay, New South Wales. Spending the daylight hours at sea, it awaits the cover of night before coming ashore to roost in rock crevices and burrows. On Phillip Island, the nightly “penguin parades” have become a tourist attraction. The Little, or Fairy, Penguin, is the only species of penguin to nest on the Australian mainland, and the only penguin to nest in a burrow. Similar to other penguins, food, mostly small fish and squid, is caught in skilful underwater pursuits. The birds flap their wings as they swim, as if they ‘fly’ underwater.
Scientific name: Eudyptula minor