2 Types of Penguins in Western Australia! (2024)

What are the different kinds of penguins in Western Australia?

types of penguins in Western Australia

It’s easy to see why people are fascinated with penguins. Besides their adorable looks, these birds are unlike any other in the world!

They’re flightless birds that love to swim, they stand upright instead of hunched over, and almost all of them live in the southern hemisphere.

Keep reading to learn about EVERY type of penguin that lives on the planet, including photos and range maps!

THE 2 PENGUIN species in Western Australia:


#1. Little Penguin

  • Eudyptula minor

Also known as Little Blue Penguins.

types of penguins in Western Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 30-33 cm (12-13 in) tall and weigh about 1.5kg (3.3 lb).
  • The head and back are blue, and the underside is white from chin to belly.
  • Their feet are pink with black soles and webbing.

Little Penguins are the only nocturnal penguin in Western Australia!

They prefer to complete all their activities at night, including hunting, moving, and socializing. Then, during the day, they rest in groups to protect themselves from predators.

Little Penguins live on the southern coast of Australia and throughout coastal New Zealand.

Little Penguins dive as deep as 80 m (265 ft) to find their preferred food, which includes krill, fish, and squid. However, they can only stay underwater for two minutes, which is short compared to other types of penguins. They also swim and walk along the shore in groups, an effective strategy to avoid predators.

Amazingly, Little Penguins have up to nine sounds they use to communicate with their colony. The sounds include sharp barking that announces it’s time to hunt and loud yelps, which signal trouble. Listen to a few sounds below!

YouTube video

Although Little Penguins do face an increased threat from introduced predators, they aren’t currently in danger of decline. They’re a species of Least Concern, meaning their populations are stable and healthy.

  • Estimated Global Population: 1.2 million individual penguins

#2. Southern Rockhopper Penguin

  • Eudyptes chrysocome

types of penguins in Western Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 45–58 cm (18–23 in) tall and weigh 2–3.4 kg (4.4–7.5 lb).
  • Look for their straight, bright yellow eyebrows finishing in yellow plumes over a red eye.
  • The upper part of its body is solid gray, and the belly is white.

Southern Rockhoppers are the showiest penguins in Western Australia.

Just look at that yellow eyebrow and crown of feathers on its head. This species is ready for a party! 🙂

And its looks aren’t the only thing that sets the Southern Rockhopper apart. Many penguins avoid obstacles by sliding on their bellies or climbing using their flippers. However, this species jumps across cracks and boulders instead.

There are two subspecies of Southern Rockhopper Penguin. The western subspecies lives on the southern coast of South America, and the eastern subspecies lives on the southern coast of Australia.

These adaptable penguins also have complex hunting behaviors. They can travel in groups up to 57 km (35 mi) away from their colonies. They hunt for between 12 and 15 hours at a time, leaving the colony around dawn and returning at dusk.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Rockhopper Penguins are highly recognizable because of their looks. In addition, their breeding grounds are also popular tourist destinations!

Unfortunately, Rockhopper Penguins are also considered vulnerable to extinction because of their recent population decline. The threats against these penguins include competition from commercial fisheries and oil spills. However, several zoo breeding programs are leading efforts to help the species thrive.

  • Estimated Global Population: 1 million breeding pairs

Do you want to know more about penguins in Western Australia?


Which type of penguin in Western Australia is your favorite?

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