Matthew Littlewood 16:47, Feb 17 2020
An Antipode Islands-based penguin spotted in Timaru was most likely looking for its dinner on its rare visit, a Department of Conservation (DOC) spokesman says.
The endangered erect-crested penguin, spotted by Stuff photographer John Bisset, near Timaru port's breakwater at the weekend, could be one of a few making its way to South Canterbury shores as they begin to moult.
DOC technical advisor Bruce McKinlay said while the erect-crested penguin breeds on the remote Bounty and Antipodes Islands, it was "not uncommon to find individual birds moulting on the east coast of the South Island most summers".
"As a top predator the penguin was most likely looking for fish," McKinlay said.