Blue Penguins On Land

Little Blue penguins come onto land mainly to breed and moult, but will also spend time ashore during non-breeding months. They are only active on land at night. They leave from the colony early in the morning before sun-rise, and return to the colony after dark.



Day-time behaviour on land

During the day, if the penguins decide not to go to sea, they will stay hidden inside their nests. The penguins will normally make their nests by digging a burrow into soil or sand or finding a crevice amongst the rocks but at Oamaru we build nesting boxes for them to use, as they are not prone to flooding or collapsing the way a natural burrow might.

Night-time behaviour on land

The penguins often come out of their nests at night, gathering nesting materials, socialising, and defending their nests from other penguins. 

When the chicks are older, they too will come out of the nests and wait for their parents to return home with food.




Blue penguins are very vocal, they have a range of calls which serve many purposes. To recognise each other or claim or defend territory they have a braying call. As they come ashore they quack, this keeps the group of penguins together and may alert the birds ashore of their return.