Magellanic penguin

Species profile

Name: the Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a South American penguin that is closely related to the African, Humboldt, and Galapagos penguins.

Appearance: Magellanic penguins have black backs and white chests and stomachs. Their heads are black with a white border that runs from above the the eye to below the chin.

Size: they are medium-sized penguins which reach between 61 to 76 cm tall and weigh between 2.7 to 6.5 kg.

Diet: they feed on cuttlefish, squid, krill, and other crustaceans.

Did you know: climate change is causing shifts in the distribution of fish populations which has meant that Magellanic penguins are having to swim further from their nests to find fish. While they are out spending more time looking for food, their mates are waiting at the nests without food for longer periods. An increase in rain storms due to climate change is also impacting penguin populations as greater numbers of chicks die from hypothermia during storms. Due to these changes and other pressures, an estimated 12 of 17 penguin species are experiencing rapid population declines. 

Location: Magellanic penguins breed in coastal Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands – some migrate to Brazil where they are occasionally seen as far north as Rio de Janeiro.

where to see magellanic penguins

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see Magellanic penguins in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Valdes Peninsula
very high
very good
Galapagos Islands
very low
very good

Photo credit: WildSide team member Chris White

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