Fairy penguins, little blue penguins, Korora, are really, well, little. They are the smallest penguin in the world, standing not much more than 10 inches tall (25 cm) with beautiful blue feathers and a white breast. They nest in abandoned rabbit burrows at Katiki Point which saves them the trouble of digging a burrow themselves.
Little blue penguins are occasional visitors to the penguin hospital but their international conservation status is “of least concern”. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about the little blue penguins in Oamaru and elsewhere who must cross roads to get to their nesting area. Because they return to their nests after dark and freeze in headlights they are often hit by cars. Here’s a story from Forest & Bird about Juan Carlos, a little blue penguin in Wellington, who was sorely missed after it was killed by a car while crossing the road.
Little blues leave their nests at dawn and return after dusk, which makes them tricky to photograph without a flash (ahem, this should be the rule when photographing penguins) but this one had been recovering in the penguin hospital and was about to be released.