5,000 of the world’s smallest penguins parade down an Australian beach in an unprecedented parade

As dusk fell over Australia’s Phillip Island last week, thousands of tiny black-and-white birds took part in the largest “penguin parade” seen on the island since record-keeping began in the 1960s, with over 5,200 little penguins (Eudiptula minor) across the beach in one night.

Phillip Island, known as Millowl to the indigenous Bunurong people, is home to Australia’s largest colony of little penguins, currently numbering around 40,000 birds, according to the Penguin Foundation, a group that funds research and conservation efforts on the island. This is the smallest penguin species in the world; the birds grow to be no more than 40 centimeters (15.7 in) tall, or about the height of a bolus, depending on the australian museum.

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