Penguin Awareness day aims to bring international focus on the conservation of penguin habitats and raises awareness about these flightless birds whose numbers are dwindling.
Where do they live?
Penguins are aquatic and native to the Southern Hemisphere. There are around 20 species with the Emperor penguins being the largest and Little penguins (or Fairy) being the smallest. Little penguins are native to Australia and New Zealand and are usually found from Fremantle in WA through southern Australia and as far north as Coffs Harbour (an hour or so away from Port Macquarie). Penguins spend around 80% of their lives at sea, returning to land to breed, moult and rest. When on land they tend to live in social colonies and are monogamous. We have Little penguins at Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie!
Life Expectancy of Little penguins
Average lifespan is 7 years but there have been recorded cases of Little penguins living to 26 years! Breeding is from June to October where two eggs are laid, hatching after 33 to 37 days. Chicks leave the nest when they are fully fledged at 7 to 9 weeks and head to the ocean to mature.
Did you know?
- It’s thought that the black and white colouring of penguins is a camouflage which helps them to hide from underwater predators.
- Penguins are great at diving and swimming but can’t fly even though they are considered to be part of the bird family. They use their wings as flippers to move quickly underwater.
- The fastest penguins, the Gentoo, can swim at the speed of 22 miles or 35 kilometers an hour.
- Penguins can eat about 30% of their body weight of small fish daily such as Anchovies, Red Cod, Pilchards and Squid.
Find out more…
Learn more about these majestic birds and their habitat and try to understand how human activity may be affecting them. Watch movies with penguin characters and documentaries about the lives and habitats of penguins.
See for yourself
Come and visit our little penguins at Billabong Zoo and learn about these beautiful birds. Our presentation and feeding time is at 10am – make sure you come along – they are such characters!