In light of so many articles highlighting attacks on our ecosystem via big oil, pipelines, and a denial of global warming, I thought it would be fun to switch gears and talk about one of the wonderful animals on our beautiful earth, penguins!
My daughter, who is in first grade, learned how to do a report on a penguin of her choice this month and she chose the Little Blue Penguin (or Fairy Penguin as our Australian friends say) because it was the smallest penguin on earth. The same week she chose the penguin, this video was posted to share an amazing conservation program to protect this little penguin,. On one small island, there was a huge issue of foxes attacking the penguins which almost wiped out the population. Sheepdogs were added about ten years ago and since then, the population of penguins has rebounded to almost 200 birds.
The Little Blue Penguin is only a foot tall at maturity, lives as far north as southern Australia and New Zealand, and can lay two eggs at the same time. They live in burrows, eat seafood like fish, krill, and small squid, and have blue feathers. Imagine these penguins in contrast with Emperor Penguins, the earth’s largest penguins, who stand 44″ tall at maturity–the same size as an average 6 year old!
There is a very well written children’s book that Lily used as a basis for her penguin research called Facts About the Little Blue Penguin A Picture Book for Kids by Lisa Strattin. There are many facts about the penguin as well as pages that children can color to stay engaged with the content. Penguin World–Little Blue Penguins is a digital resource about this penguin with a variety of photos and information about penguin conservation.