Blue penguin
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Quality housing for blue penguins
The nestbox design illustrated on the right has been used to accommodate blue penguins in areas where suitable nest sites have not been available, or to relocate birds evicted from their chosen nest site (e.g. removed from under houses).

Blue penguins readily adopt the boxes, in some cases being occupied just a few hours after being placed! Blue penguins show a preference to nest boxes over natural sites and breeding success in the boxes has been equal or higher than that observed at natural sites.

The boxes are designed to be partially or completely buried, however they can be used as free-standing units. They should be placed with the tunnel entrances pointing slightly downhill (for drainage) and around 2m apart. Boxes that are too close to others may not be used due to the territorial nature of blue penguins.

The tunnel entrance is large enough for the plumpest blue penguin to negotiate but makes it difficult for dogs, cats and humans to get access to the nest. Unfortunately, aside from trapping, there is no defence from mustelids.

If the lid is left exposed and is removable (for easy inspection), secure firmly (a large rock does nicely) as penguins may dislodge it during courtship or territorial defence. If regular inspections are not required, nail or screw the lid down.

Do not provide nesting material, the penguins will find their own. Materials like hay or straw can cause severe respiratory infections.

The paper describing their development and use is available here - The use of nest boxes for blue penguins (Eudyptula minor). Ecological Management No 7, 7-11. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 1999
Nestbox
Nstbox

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© Dave Houston  www.penguin.net.nz