2021 Photo Competition

Date posted: 21-Jan-2021

2021 Photo Competition Now Open It is that time of year again when we are look..

Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

Little Blue Penguin

Scientific name:

 Eudyptula minor

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 At risk - declining

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common 

Size:  40cm, 1.1kg


 Oldest recorded 19+ years in NZ


 July - December


 Small fish, squid and octopus 

Now officially named the 'little penguin', this is the smallest of all penguins at just 40 cms. They are steely blue above and satin white below. The blueness of their backs makes the old and more popular name difficult to discard.

Blue penguins frequent the mainland coastal waters of both North and South Islands and many offshore islands around New Zealand. They spend all day out at sea fishing, often solitary, mostly about five metres below the surface. They feed on small fish, squid, and octopus when available. At night they come ashore and leave at dawn to go back fishing. When ashore they often wander as far as 500m inland and over 200m above sea level on some islands. On Tiritiri Matangi they have been seen at night up by the lighthouse.

The little blue penguin has a variety of calls, mewing notes (like a cat), loud screams, trumpeting and deep toned growls. They are most vocal at their breeding colonies and when they come ashore at dusk. 

Blue penguins go through a complete body moult at the breeding site once their chicks have fledged. This moulting period lasts for 10-18 days and occurs some time between December and March. At this time the penguin cannot go to sea and therefore doesn't eat, having spent 2-3 weeks beforehand fattening up.

Find out more about the blue penguin at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Anne Mein © (top right) and Peter Craw © (bottom left)
References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.