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Happy Feet by Evita

Canvas Prints

Size:
$53.50
Available to buy on…


Canon 500D
Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor)
Featherdale Wildlife Park
September 2012

FEATURED IN
Featured Photography in RedBubble Explore Page, April 2013
International Women’s Photography Group, October 2012
Vibration in Art and Verse – Group, Ocotber 2012
PEACE LOVE & TRANQUILITY Group, October 2012

Tags

happy feet, penguin, penguins, eudyptula minor, nature, animal, animals, evita

Comments

  • Evita
    Evitaalmost 2 years ago

    The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is the smallest species of penguin. The penguin, which usually grows to an average of 33 cm (13 in) in height and 43 cm (17 in) in length (though specific measurements vary by subspecies),23 is found on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand, with possible records from Chile.

    Apart from Little Penguins, they have several common names. In Australia, they are also referred to as Fairy Penguins because of their tiny size. In New Zealand, they are also called Little Blue Penguins, or just Blue Penguins, owing to their slate-blue plumage, and they are called Kororā in Māori.

    The Little Penguin was first described by German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster in 1781. There are several subspecies but a precise classification of these is still a matter of dispute. The holotypes of the subspecies Eudyptula minor variabilis4 and Eudyptula minor chathamensis5 are in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The White-flippered Penguin is sometimes considered a subspecies, sometimes a distinct species, and sometimes a morph. As the Australian and Otago (eastern South Island) Little Penguins seem to be a distinct species6 to which the specific name minor would apply, the White-flippered birds indeed belong to a distinct species, although not exactly as originally assumed.

    Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the split between Eudyptula and Spheniscus occurred around 25 million years ago, with the ancestors of the White-flippered and Little Penguins diverging about 2.7 million years ago.

    Like those of all penguins, the little penguin’s wings have developed into flippers used for swimming. The Little Penguin typically grows to between 30 and 33 cm (12 to 13 inches) tall and usually weighs about 1.5 kilogram on average (3.3 pounds). The head and upperparts are blue in colour, with slate-grey ear coverts fading to white underneath, from the chin to the belly. The flippers are blue. The dark grey-black beak is 3–4 cm long, the irises pale silvery- or bluish-grey or hazel, and the feet pink above with black soles and webbing. An immature individual will have a shorter bill and lighter upperparts.

    Like most seabirds, they have a long lifespan. The average for the species is 6.5 years, but flipper ringing experiments show in very exceptional cases up to 25 years in captivity.

    The Little Penguin breeds along the entire coastline of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and southern Australia (including roughly 20,000 pairs10 on Babel Island).

    Little penguins have also been reported from Chile (where they are known as Pingüino pequeño or Pingüino azul) (Isla Chañaral 1996, Playa de Santo Domingo, San Antonio, 16 March 1997) and South Africa, but it is unclear whether these birds were vagrants.

    Rough estimates (as new colonies continue to be discovered) of the world population are around 350,000-600,000 animals.3 The species is not considered endangered, except for the White-Flippered subspecies found only on Banks Peninsula and nearby Motunau Island in New Zealand. Since the 1960s, the mainland population has declined by 60-70%; though there has been a small increase on Motunau Island. But overall Little Penguin populations have been decreasing as well, with some colonies having been wiped out and other populations continuing to be at risk.3 However, new colonies have been established in urban areas.2

    The greatest threat to Little Penguin populations has been predation (including nest predation) from cats, foxes, large reptiles, ferrets and stoats.2311 Due to their diminutive size and the introduction of new predators, some colonies have been reduced in size by as much as 98% in just a few years, such as the small colony on Middle Island, near Warrnambool, Victoria, which was reduced from 5000 penguins to 100. Because of this threat of colony collapse, conservationists pioneered an experimental technique using Maremma Sheepdogs to protect the colony and fend off would-be predators.

    Like Galápagos penguins, Little Penguins spend the whole day swimming in the sea. They are out at sunrise and hunt into the evening. Little Penguins preen their feathers to keep them waterproof. They do this by rubbing a tiny drop of oil onto every feather from a special gland above the tail.

    These birds feed by hunting fish, squid and other small sea animals, for which they travel and dive quite extensively. They are generally inshore feeders.13 The use of data loggers has provided information of the diving behavior of Little Penguins. 50% of their dives go no deeper than 2 m and the mean diving time is 21 seconds.14 Yet, they are able to dive as deep as 20m and remained submerged as long as 60 sec

    Little Penguins mature at different ages. The female matures at 2 years old. The male, however, matures at 3 years old. Little Penguins only remain faithful to their partner in breeding seasons and whilst hatching eggs. At other times of the year they do tend to swap burrows. They exhibit site fidelity to their nesting colonies and nesting sites over successive years.

    Little Penguins live year-round in large colonies, with each individual breeding pair forming a burrow in which to raise their chicks (of which two are born at a time, usually about 2 days apart). Little Penguins typically return to their colonies to feed their chicks at dusk. The birds will tend to come ashore in small groups to provide some defense against predators which might pick off individuals one by one. In Australia, the strongest colonies are usually on cat-free and fox-free islands. However, the population on Granite Island (which is a fox, cat and dog-free island) has been severely depleted, from around 2000 penguins in the year of 2001 down to 146 in 2009.

    South of Perth, Western Australia, visitors to Penguin Island are able to view penguins in a totally natural state. Less than one hour from the centre of the city, it is possible to see Little Penguins in all months, including visiting sensitive areas where they remain on land for extended periods for the purposes of moulting.

    At Phillip Island, a viewing area has been set up at the Phillip Island Nature Park to allow visitors to view the nightly “penguin parade”. Lights and concrete stands have been erected to allow visitors to see but not photograph the birds interacting in their colony.16

    In Otago, New Zealand town of Oamaru, where visitors may view the birds returning to their colony at dusk.17 In Oamaru it is not uncommon for penguins to nest within the cellars and foundations of local shorefront properties, especially in the old historic precinct of the town. More recently, Little penguin viewing facilities have been put in place at Pilots Beach, Otago Peninsula and Dunedin in New Zealand. Here visitors are guided by volunteer wardens to watch penguins returning to their burrows at dusk.18

    Visitors to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, have the nightly opportunity to commune with penguins at the Kangaroo Island Marine Centre in Kingscote and at the Penneshaw Penguin Centre.19 Several human-made enclosures have been made to support breeding and shelter, with several people clearing an area for the penguins and burying the huts, most notably The Knox School, when their efforts were filmed and broadcast in 2008 by Totally Wild. There are also nightly tours of Granite Island. South of Adelaide, South Australia is home to a colony of 2000 fairy penguins. You are able to see the penguins every day in their natural habitat with guided tours every day at dusk.20 There is also a penguin centre where you can feed and interact with penguins.

    Little Penguins in the wild are sometimes preyed upon by New Zealand fur seals. A study done by researchers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (based at the Waite campus of the University of Adelaide) found that roughly 40 percent of seal droppings in South Australia’s Granite Island area contained Little Penguin remains.2930

    Little Penguins on Middle Island in Warrnambool, Victoria were subject to heavy predation by foxes, which could reach the island at low tide by a tidal sand bridge. The deployment of Maremma sheepdogs to protect the penguin colony has deterred the foxes and enabled the penguin population to rebound.31 This is in addition to the support from groups of volunteers who work to protect the penguins from attack at night.

    In Sydney, snipers have been deployed to protect a colony of Little Penguins.32 This effort is in addition to support from local volunteers who work to protect the penguins from attack at night.

    INFORMATION FROM
    Wikipedia

  • Evita
    Evitaalmost 2 years ago

  • – Evita

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypennyalmost 2 years ago

    Too cute

  • Thank you !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Bootiewootsy
    Bootiewootsyalmost 2 years ago

    So darling, Evita… They are adorble…

  • Thank you Carol !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • BlueMoonRose
    BlueMoonRosealmost 2 years ago

    So cute! Love it! An instant Favourite!

  • Thank you so much BlueMoonRose !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Poete100
    Poete100almost 2 years ago

    Ohhhh! The Blue Penguin from Australia…they’re so adorable..great capture!

  • Thank you kindly !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Dlouise
    Dlouisealmost 2 years ago

    Awwwww, so cute,,,great capture Evita!!

  • Thank you very much !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Vitta
    Vittaalmost 2 years ago

    Lovely Portrait!!!

  • Thank you !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Helenvandy
    Helenvandyalmost 2 years ago

    How sweet it must have been to be so close to this littly guy, {or gal}. Lovely image.

  • Thank you very much… not too close… I had with me my trusty zoom lens !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

  • Lori Peters
    Lori Petersalmost 2 years ago

    I have only seen penguins once when we had them briefly at our zoo. They are so beautiful. A great picture…

  • Thank you Lori… I’m happy you like it !!! ☺♥

    – Evita

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