Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus),
also know as the ‘Burrowing Penguin’.
The Magellanic Penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus, is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil. It is the most numerous of the Spheniscus penguins. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Humboldt Penguin and the Galápagos Penguin. They are native to the Strait of Magellan in the cool climate of southern Chile, hence the name’s origin.
Adults have black backs and white stomachs. There are two black bands between the head and the breast, with the lower band shaped in an inverted horseshoe. The head is black with a broad white border that runs from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, and joins at the throat. Chicks and younger penguins have grey-blue backs, with a more faded grey-blue color on their chest. Magellanic Penguins can live up to 25 years in the wild, but as much as 30 years in captivity.
Like other species of penguins, the Magellanic Penguin has very rigid wings used to “fly”
Magellanic Penguins feed in the water, preying on cuttlefish, sardines, squid, krill, and other crustaceans. Since they ingest sea water with their prey, a salt-excreting gland has evolved to filter out the salt.
Magellanic Penguins travel in large flocks when hunting for food. In the breeding season, these birds gather in large nesting colonies at the coasts of Argentina, southern Chile, and the Falkland Islands, which have a density of 20 nests per 100 square meters. One of the largest of these colonies is located at Punta Tombo. Nests are built under bushes or in burrows. 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.