Penguins In The City


Sydney Harbour is home to a colony of fairy penguins, one of the few colonies in the world to inhabit a major city. A few years ago the colony was listed as endangered as its size had fallen to 60 breeding pairs. In 2005 captive-bred penguins were released into the colony to boost its numbers.

The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife installed breeding boxes along the harbour foreshore to increase breeding success. I did a bit of volunteer work with them last year and it was so rewarding to see that the breeding and nesting boxes were working.

The good news is that the penguins are breeding well and that the decline in their numbers has been halted. The Sydney Harbour fairy penguins are now the

“healthiest and fattest in Australia.”


I’ve got to tell you, I love fairy penguins. They are the most adorable little creatures you could ever hope to see. It is so encouraging to know they are flourishing in an urban environment.


Never seen a fairy penguin up close? Check them out via the Sydney Aquarium penguin cam. They are soooo cute.

11 thoughts on “Penguins In The City

  1. This, I’ve got to see when I visit Sydney next month!

    We missed the ones on Kangaroo Island, because we couldn’t stay until dark … you are permitted there after dark, in the company of a ranger. But, the notice said the penguins are never there by day … although people do wander down there, in the hope of seeing the odd penguin who doesn’t read notices.


  2. Travelrat – I hope you get to see some. They can be elusive. Perhaps I can meet you and your wife for a coffee if you have the time when you come to Sydney, it’s not often you get to meet a fellow blogger in person.

    PWADJ – they are too cute to be true, aren’t they?


  3. >>Perhaps I can meet you and your wife for a coffee<<

    It’s not impossible … did you get the email I sent with contact phone numbers?


  4. I love fairy penguins too! We took hubby’s folks to watch the fairy penguin parade at Philip Island in April. They are utterly cute and adorable and they mew like kittens. We got pretty close to them from the boardwalk, but of course photography is not permitted.

    If you want a guaranteed sighting, I definitely recommend spending a night on Philip Island. You can see koalas up close there too. So do the koalas during the day and the penguins at dusk.


  5. Travelrat – I have just sent you the email. Hope you got it.

    Josie – too cute is all I can say. I love them.

    daoine – I would love to visit Philip Island. The ones in Sydney are very tricky to see.


  6. Hey Selma, I’ve just been surprised by a Little Penguin swimming in the harbour between Woolloomooloo wharf and Mrs Macquarie’s chair. Have they really ventured this far or was this one just seeking a break from Manly?!


  7. NIGEL:
    Oh, how wonderful. What was he doing all the way over there? Cheeky little thing. I hope he found his way back home. Thanks so much for letting me know!


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