The Penguins of Phillip Island
What animal wears a tuxedo daily to work? It’s a penguin! Of course, the penguins are such fun fellows. And hardworking, too. They work from dawn until dusk.
The penguins of Phillip Island, Little Penguins they are called because of their diminutive size, would parade into the surf early at dawn to fish all day. They stop working and march back to their homes in the dunes at dusk. And they don’t bother whether you’re watching them. They just do their thing.
They would come out in small groups, sense for danger, and when all is cleared, they would start waddling to the sea in the morning and to their nests in the afternoon.
Measuring just about 43 centimeters tall and about 1 kilogram in weight, the Little Penguins or eudyptula minor are the smallest in the penguin world. They’re also called “fairy penguins” in Australia.
In New Zealand, these feathery friends are called blue penguins. With an indigo-blue plumage from the head to the upper parts, they looked like wearing a tux. They have slate-gray ear covers, and underneath from chin to the belly white. In Maori, the Little Penguins are called Korora. But how do you call a penguin in the subway?
These little buddies live along the coastlines of southern Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and the Chatham Islands. They establish large colonies where they build their nesting sites. And they tend to be loyal to their colony. Well, they’re also loyal to their mating partner. They’re monogamous.
A male penguin is usually bigger than the female with an average lifespan is 6.5 years. But they could live up to 21 years. They start breeding at three or four years old.
They are no flight risk because they could not fly. But they can dive into the sea up to 2 meters deep. Their source of living is mostly fishing. But on Phillip Island, they are also entertainers. Because of the nature of their job, the government had decided to exempt them from paying taxes. Well, they do not earn a single cent! (I don’t earn money, moron! I need protection. Do you hear me?)
On Phillip Island, the watching the penguins march to their burrows in the dunes has been a popular tourist activity. Their well-rehearsed penguin parade takes place at sunset. They do it every day all year round. They’re no respecter of seasons.
So if you happened to be in Melbourne, might as well plan your trip to Phillip Island and witness the penguin parade spectacle first hand. Well, they’re waiting for you. The little penguins!