About the Ōamaru Blue Penguins
Kororā, Little Penguins or Blue Penguins normally live to around 8-10 years. The oldest penguin at the OBPC lived to 21 years old. They are the world’s smallest penguin, standing at only 35-43 cm and weigh in at just over 1kg. The penguins hunt at sea, diving for prey generally in waters less than 50 m deep. Their diet is composed of varying proportions of small shoaling fish, squid and crustacean species. Little penguins have been recorded foraging as far as 214km away from the colony during incubation on Motuara Island, Marlborough, reaching speeds of 6kph. Alas as sea temperatures have risen so have the sightings of starving or emaciated penguins this is due to kororā having to go further and deeper for the small fish they require for themselves and chicks.
The Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides visitors with an opportunity to see little penguins in their natural environment. A tour during the day allows visitors to peek into the penguins’ nests, stroll through their habitat and learn about their fascinating lives. In the evening, visitors are captivated by watching the nightly arrival of penguins from their days’ fishing at sea.
The Colony is a tourism operation with a strong research and conservation focus. At the core of the operation is a long-term conservation programme that ensures the penguins are protected and that the population achieves long-term stability. An important and unique part of that conservation programme is the Colony’s Research Scientist who is now one of New Zealand’s leading little penguin experts. The programme is not limited to work at the site however, but extends further afield to include protection and monitoring of penguins elsewhere within the region.
Little penguins are widely distributed along the coastlines of the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands and their offshore islands. They visit (but are not known to breed at) the Three Kings Islands, and are vagrant to the Snares Islands. Little penguins are also common in south-western and south-eastern Australia, where they are also known as fairy penguin. Little penguins are mainly found within 25 km of the shore during the breeding season but can travel further out to sea when not breeding. Major breeding areas in New Zealand include Hauraki Gulf islands, Wellington Harbour, Cook Strait islands and Marlborough Sounds, West Coast, Fiordland, Motunau Island, Banks Peninsula, Oamaru, Otago Peninsula, islands in Foveaux Strait and around Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands.
About the Live Cams used in Ōamaru
The Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony Cams use two high-res cameras and an external microphone to capture the penguin chatter. The first high definition AXIS Q6135-LE PTZ Network Camera is situated near the water’s edge to view the colony comings and goings. The second camera, an AXIS P3375-LVE Network Camera which is installed right the nesting area.