The world’s smallest penguin (dwarf penguin) is the little blue, or fairy, penguin. Standing just 13 inches tall and weighing a mere 2 pounds, this tuxedo-clad bird is found on the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. Although they’re too small to jump, they are excellent swimmers and can dive to depths of nearly 200 feet in search of food. Little blue penguins eat a diet of squid, krill, and small fish.
The dwarf penguin species: The smallest type of penguin
The species of pygmy penguin is a species with unique characteristics, which lives on the coast of New Zealand. Learn more about these nocturnal animals here!
The dwarf penguin is a fascinating penguin species that lives on the coast of New Zealand. Also known as little blue penguin and fairy penguin, it is the smallest species in the penguin family.
Penguins are flightless birds. Unlike birds that can actually fly, penguins have solid bones, which help them swim more easily. This penguin species is usually 30 cm tall in adulthood, and weighs just over 1 kg.
Penguins are mostly nocturnal animals. In some cases, they can be seen near human areas. Despite their small size, the pygmy penguin species tends to make a lot of noise in the evening, when they are most active.
As you have probably already guessed, this species is blue in color. Some of them are more black, although most are more greyish. Like other members of their species, these penguins have white bellies.
Like many other animals, the dwarf penguin species is sexually dysmorphic. In this case, the males are slightly larger than the females. The males’ beaks are also generally darker and wider.
They eat around 25% of their body weight in fish every day. They are extremely fast in the water, thanks to their small size and weight, and this makes them good hunters.
Habitat and distribution of the dwarf penguin species
They live mostly on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island in New Zealand. But you can also find them on Tree Kings Island, which is uninhabited by humans. You can also find this species on the southeast coast of Australia. The natives here call it the “fairytale penguin”, and it is even part of their folklore!
They usually dig their nests in sand dunes or near large rocks. If possible, they will try to build their nests in places where they will be protected by thick vegetation. Current figures say there are at least 32,000 individuals of this species in New Zealand alone.
They also spend most of their lives in the water, swimming around. Of all the different penguin species, they are the best at water acrobatics. They can spend several days in the water before needing to return to shore.
Depending on the season, this species can go a whole month without returning to land. This means they don’t spend much time around their nests. The time you see them most is during mating season. However, unlike other birds, they do not keep a single partner for the rest of their lives. A female can also lay one or two eggs at the same time.
Both parents will take turns incubating the egg, while the other goes hunting and swimming. The incubation period lasts for around 35 days. When the egg hatches, they will be fed by the female by gobbling up food in their mouths, as other birds do. A cub is considered an adult at 7-11 weeks after birth. By then they should be able to hunt and swim themselves.
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Vogue Health Team