During the autumn breed, five out of the 250 burrows that are monitored this time of year had eggs inside, and three at the Parade have all recently hatched! While it's still a long way until fledging (8+ weeks), the adults managed to stay close enough to the colony to swap incubation shifts regularly, and avoid abandoning the eggs as can often happen during the winter chill.
During winter the local food abundance can drop due to colder water temperatures. Satellite tracking of little penguins in 2008 found the at-sea-movements and foraging range of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) changes in response, they might go into Port Phillip Bay and even as far as Warrnambool.
The short days and cold weather can make for a harder time of year for Little Penguins, but luckily, they are well equipped to deal with the cold waters with their waterproof feathers that act like a doona inside a wetsuit!
At this time of year, many individuals conduct single day trips, but some can go much farther and stay out at sea for over a month! Despite these long feeding trips, penguins still come ashore each evening at Phillip Island.
If you find a dead penguin on the beach, you can record the details here.