Kororā/blue penguins are the world’s smallest penguin and live in small colonies along the Taranaki coast, including around the protected Ngā Motu /Sugar Loaf Islands, part of Taranaki Mounga’s project area.
Not a lot is known about the survival of kororā in Taranaki. It is thought their population and range has been declining because of predation by dogs and loss of habitat. Lack of food may also be an issue, we are not sure how far blue penguins are travelling at sea to find the best feeding grounds. Project Hotspot is building up a record of blue penguin sightings in the region, you can report them here.
Blue penguins commonly nest in burrows, nesting boxes, rock crevices, caves and under buildings. They are not often seen as they only come ashore under the cover of darkness at dusk and dawn.
You can watch a live video stream of penguins in a nesting box at Nga Motu beach in New Plymouth here. The infrared camera does not disturb the penguins so you are getting a unique look at penguins in the wild.
- Penguins usually come ashore to lay eggs from June to November
- Incubation takes around 40 days, with both parents doing their share
- After the chicks hatch one parent guards them for the first 2-3 weeks
- Then both parents go to sea to keep up the supply of fish for their hungry chicks
- Chicks usually fledge (leave the nest) when they are 8 weeks old and are independent from then
- Adult penguins come ashore to shed their feathers in summer and grow a new waterproof coat. This moult period takes about two weeks and can happen any time between November and March
Did you know
- Penguins can travel up to 75km at sea each day to find food
- Underwater, blue penguins can reach speeds of up to 6km an hour
- Penguins will return to breed within a few metres of where they were born
- They feed on surface schooling fish, squid and crustaceans