Little Penguin FAQs

Looking to see some penguins in Burnie, Tasmania? You're in luck! Burnie is known for its Little Penguin colonies, at west beach alone there are more than 600 that you can observe in their natural habitat during the breeding season.

Q: What type of penguins live in Burnie, Tasmania?

A: The penguins that live in Burnie, Tasmania are commonly known as little penguins, blue penguins (NZ) or fairy penguins (AUS). They are the smallest species of penguins, standing at just 30cm tall.

Q: When can you see penguins in Burnie?

A: The best months to plan your visit are between October and March. This is when the Little Penguins are breeding and nesting on the land, and you can witness the unforgettable sight of penguins returning to their burrows to feed their young and interact with each other.

Q: Where can I see penguins in Burnie, Tasmania?

A: The colony is located along the foreshore in Burnie a very short distance from the city centre.

You can observe baby penguins in their burrows any time of the day along the Burnie waterfront boardwalk, head over to the Little Penguin Observation Centre at Parsonage Point, The viewing area where you can see penguins up close is level with wheelchair access and is child friendly.

To ensure the safety of the penguins and preserve their natural environment, it's important to follow the guidelines and maintain a safe distance while observing them.

Q: What time of day do little penguins come ashore?

A: Each day at dusk, just as the sun is setting, the little fairy penguins come ashore to feed their young. They waddle up the beach to their nests, where they spend the night.

It's an amazing event to watch, and if you're lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you can see hundreds of little penguins coming ashore all at once.

Q: Are there any guided tours available to see the penguins?

A: The Friends of Burnie Penguins provide a free interpretative guided experience. You will have an opportunity for an intimate view into the seasonal life of penguin families from courtship, through to chick rearing and moulting adults at the end of the breeding season.

Q: Tell me more about what Friends of Burnie Penguins do?

A: If you're interested in the conservation and protection of penguins in Burnie, check out the Friends of Burnie Penguins organization. They're dedicated to developing strategies to mitigate the challenges penguins face, such as threats, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change.

They also engage volunteers in various activities, including monitoring penguin populations, building and maintaining nesting boxes, and providing education programs to the community.

Donations are welcome and are used to protect penguins and their habitat.

Q: Can I view the Burnie Penguins on livestream from home?

A: If you're interested in learning more about penguins, or if you just want to watch some cute little birds, The Burnie Penguin Centre live stream on YouTube offers a great way to observe penguins up close and learn about their behavior in their natural habitat. It's available day and night, and you can even use it for educational or research purposes.

Q: Where can I see penguins elsewhere in Tasmania for free?

A: But wait, there's more! There are many popular spots to see little penguins around Tasmania for free, such as Godfrey’s Beach Viewing Platform in Stanley, Lillico Beach in Devonport, The Neck in Bruny Island, and Low Head Penguin Tours in Launceston. For guided tours, you can check out Bicheno Penguin Tours on the East Coast and Low Head Penguin Tours in George Town.

Q: Can I touch or handle the penguins?

A: No, it is not allowed to touch or handle the penguins. It is important to respect the penguins and their natural habitat, as they are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Q: How many little penguins are there in Burnie?

A: It's difficult to estimate the exact number of little penguins in Burnie, as their population can vary from year to year depending on various factors such as food availability and weather conditions. However, it's believed that there are several hundred breeding pairs in the area.

Q: What is a collective of penguins called?

A: The various collective nouns for penguins are raft, waddle, rookery, colony, and huddle.

Q: How long do penguins stay on land?

A: Little penguins spend most of their time at sea, but during the breeding season, they come ashore from dusk to dawn to mate, nest, and raise their young. They typically spend several weeks on land during this time before returning to the sea.

Q: Do penguins mate for life?

A: Little penguins are monogamous, meaning they usually mate with the same partner year after year. However, if one of the mates dies or fails to return to the breeding site, the other may find a new mate.

Q: What do penguins eat?

A: Little penguins mainly feed on small fish, such as anchovies, pilchards, and sardines, as well as squid and krill.

Q: What are some threats to penguins in Burnie?

A: Penguins in Burnie face a number of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, pollution, climate change, and predation by introduced species such as dogs and feral cats. It's important to take steps to protect their habitat and reduce these threats to ensure their survival.

Q: How can I help protect the penguins in Burnie?

A: You can help protect the penguins in Burnie by following a few simple rules. Firstly, always stay on the designated paths and viewing areas, and avoid disturbing the penguins or their nesting areas. Additionally, keep your pets away from nesting areas on the foreshore and make sure to dispose of your rubbish properly never leave litter behind.

Lastly, you can also support local conservation efforts by donating to or volunteering with wildlife rescue and conservation organisations.

Q: What is the Penguin Rehab & Release organisation and what do they do?

A: The Penguin Rehab & Release organisation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of penguins in Tasmania, Australia. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick, injured, or orphaned penguins back into the wild. They work closely with local wildlife rescue groups, veterinarians, and government agencies to provide care and support for injured or sick penguins.

In addition to rehabilitation efforts, the organisation also works to protect penguin habitats, raise awareness about penguin conservation, and engage the community in conservation efforts.

Q: How can I support the Penguin Rehab & Release organisation?

A: There are several ways to support the Penguin Rehab & Release organisation. You can make a donation to help fund their rehabilitation and conservation efforts, sponsor an injured penguin, volunteer your time to help with rescue and rehabilitation efforts, or participate in one of their community education programs. You can also follow their social media channels to stay up to date on their work and spread awareness about penguin conservation.

Remember to always respect the penguins and their habitat by keeping a safe distance, not using flash photography, and avoiding loud noises or sudden movements. Enjoy this unique and memorable wildlife experience in Tasmania!