This breeding season has been one of Taronga’s most successful. In the last few months 16 Little Penguin chicks have hatched and there are 10 more on the way!
Australia's Little Penguin is the world's smallest penguin, weighing in at only one kilo. The Little Penguin is perfectly adapted to life at sea with a body shaped like a torpedo, wings that transform into flippers and waterproof bodies.
Often Little Penguins have the same mate for life. Both parents feed and care for their chicks. It takes around about 36 days for an egg to hatch, during which both parents share the process of incubating. Young will leave their parents at about seven to nine weeks.
Taronga’s Little Penguins also share their home with three rare Fiordland Penguins –Mr Munro and his girls Chalky and Milford. Mr Munro has acquittances with both the girls to encourage them to do what comes naturally and hopefully breed a new generation of this inquisitive penguin. Each year we are getting closer to breeding success. This year both the females laid two fertile eggs and while they did not hatch, there is hope for next year.
With less than 1,000 breeding pairs in the wild, research on this species is scant and each year as we observe their breeding behaviour we’re able to unlock some of the secrets of the species’ mating and brooding habits. In the wild it’s difficult to study these behaviours as they live in thick vegetation in New Zealand’s temperate rainforest.