Mohua Blue Penguin Trust

Blue penguins

Little blue penguins

The little blue penguin is the world's smallest penguin. At 35-43 centimetres high (about the height of a rugby ball) it weighs between 1 and 1.2 kilograms. The scientific name of the little blue penguin is Eudyptula minor meaning good little diver.


Once common in Golden Bay the conservation status of the little blue penguin around New Zealand is at risk and declining. Coastal development has removed their nesting sites and introduced new threats. Our little blue penguins are killed by dogs, hit by vehicles crossing roads, drowned in set nets and struck by boats at sea.


Adult birds come ashore between May and June to prepare their nests. They nest in underground burrows, under vegetation, in logs and in crevices between rocks (rock retaining walls are a favourite). Since people have occupied their coastal environment you will find them find under houses, boat sheds  and wood piles. 


By day little blue penguins are out at sea fishing and feeding. They come ashore under cover of darkness. They can be very noisy when pairing up and sorting out nests. When they are ready to breed young birds often settle just metres away from where they were raised. Once settled in an area they seldom move away. 


page last edited 8 August 2020