Magellanic Penguins
Falkland Islands
November 2009
We have seen Magellanic Penguins on previous trips, but they make their nests in burrows and are rather shy, so the
encounters were brief and unsatisfactory. On Seal Island, our luck changed and we saw many Magellanic Penguins and
grew to admire this penguin.

Two eggs are laid. Incubation lasts 39–42 days, a task which the parents share in 10-15 day shifts. The chicks are cared
for by both parents for 29 days and are fed every 2–3 days. Normally both are raised through adulthood, though
occasionally only one chick is raised.

Magellanic Penguins mate with the same partner year after year. The male reclaims his burrow from the previous year and
waits to reconnect with his female partner. The females are able to recognize their mates through their call alone.
The Magellanic Penguins were building their nests in their burrows and sitting on eggs when we arrived. For the most part,
their nests are not visible. While still shy, the Magellanic Penguins on Sea Lion Island seemed much more tolerant of our

While one mate sits on the nest, the other Magellanic Penguin may come to the top to bask in the sunshine.
Some of the Magellanic Penguins were still making nests.
They were horny, braying like a jackass.
While the Magellanic penguins live in individual burrows, they generally went to sea and returned in small groups.
A little hail never hurt a penguin.
A telephoto makes it look like the Magellanic Penguins are bidding farewell to the inter island airplane.