There are 18 species of penguin. The Little Penguin is the smallest and the only one to breed in Australia.
On Phillip Island, burrows are usually made in the sand dunes during the winter months and are held together with native grasses and Bower spinach.
Around The Nobbies and the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, penguins also nest in rehabilitated areas in wooden nesting boxes provided by Phillip Island Nature Parks.
Egg laying starts in winter and can continue until December, with two whitish eggs being laid.
Once the eggs have hatched the parents take turns at guarding the chicks and going out fishing.
As the chicks get older both parents need to go out fishing to get enough fish for their growing offspring.
At about 8 weeks the chicks are ready to go to sea.
An adult little penguin grows to about 45cm.
Although some penguins come ashore every night, some months are busier than others. At the end of the breeding season around April and May there is less activity.
The penguins enter and leave the sea in groups as protection against predators.
Although the little penguin does not fly in the air, it “flies” in the water. It feeds by circling schools of small fish, then charging in and eating.
Penguins stay at sea for several weeks to feed and build up body fat before the moulting season.
While moulting, which can take two or three weeks, they stay on land.
Quick Penguin Facts
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