Royalty Free Sound Effects & Sound Libraries
27 files • 24 bit / 129/96 kHz • 5 GB • 60 min
As the sun rises over Melbourne, a unique symphony fills the air: the sounds of St Kilda’s little penguins. These fascinating creatures have made their home in the breakwater near St Kilda Pier, delighting visitors and locals alike with their charming presence.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how these little penguins came to call St Kilda home, their daily routine, and my personal experience recording the early morning soundscape.
The little penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest species of penguin and are native to the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand.
The colony at St Kilda is believed to have established itself in the 1970s, likely attracted by the abundance of food in Port Phillip Bay and the shelter provided by the breakwater.
These charismatic penguins have since become a beloved part of the local community, with volunteers from the St Kilda Penguins group working tirelessly to protect and monitor their wellbeing.
Today, the St Kilda breakwater is home to around 1,400 little penguins, with numbers continuing to grow. The little penguins typically spend their days fishing in the open waters, returning to the breakwater at dusk. As the sun rises, they prepare to leave their burrows and head out to sea once more.
The best time to observe them leaving the breakwater is around sunrise, with the exact time varying depending on the time of year and local weather conditions.
I decided not to go in the evening because this is the time when most visitors arrive, so I went early in the morning knowing that I may not see them but definitely hear them. Since sounds are more important to us than the visuals, I was totally fine with that. Also, knowing that I wouldn’t disturb them while recording from a far distance made me feel at ease even more.
Just a heads-up: the area close to the penguin colony is temporarily closed off because of the reconstruction of the new pier.
While walking to the pier, with not a single person in sight, I could already hear the cute calls in the distance. The closer I came, the air was already filled with the distinctive calls of the little penguins as they emerged from their burrows, getting ready to leave.
Amidst the penguin symphony, later during the recordings and with the sun rising, the raucous cries of seagulls could also be heard, adding an extra layer of complexity to the soundscape. Plus, the traffic in the distance becomes more and more audible because people have to go to work.
I do have to say people in Melbourne are very active, running or cycling to work. But despite Melbourne being an extremely large city (16.5 times larger than Seoul), people still rely on cars and public transportation to get from A to B.
It’s still wonderful to witness the little penguins living in such an urban environment and knowing that many people in Australia respect and protect their little home.
So please, if you read this and you want to visit them early in the morning or late at night, enjoy them from a distance and don’t use a flashlight.
Who would have thought a handy sound recorder in Cambodia would lead us here?
Hi there we’re Marcel and Libby and every sound on this site has been recorded by us. For nearly 7 years, we’ve been traveling around the world recording unique sounds for others to use!