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Magellanic Penguin

From Opus

AdultsPhoto by Peter Bono Seno Otway Colony near Punta Arenas, Chile, February 2003
Photo by Peter Bono
Seno Otway Colony near Punta Arenas, Chile, February 2003
Spheniscus magellanicus


[edit] Identification

Juvenile Photo by Michael Parker Southern Chile, 4 January 2013
Photo by Michael Parker
Southern Chile, 4 January 2013

70 cm (27.5")
Adult: Blackish-grey above and white below. Head blackish with broad white band from bill-base, curving over eye to meet on upper breast enclosing black throat. Narrow black horseshoe band on breast extending down flanks to thigh area. Bill blackish with grey band and narrow fleshy margin at base, feet blackish.
Juvenile: Pale grey face with diffuse breast band, no pink patch at base of bill.

[edit] Similar Species

Adult differs from Humboldt Penguin (S. peruvianus) in double breast band, wider white stripe over eye, thinner bill and reduced pink facial skin. Juvenile distinguished by darker face smudging and lack of pink bill base.

[edit] Distribution

Atlantic coast of South America from about 40°S southwards to Cape Horn and on the Pacific coast north to Santa Maria Island, Chile. Also breeds on the Falkland Islands and on the Juan Fernandez Islands off Chile.

Non-breeders occur north to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and about 30°S off Chile.

Vagrants recorded in Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[2[5].

[edit] Habitat

Nests in burrows close to the shore otherwise at sea, often in groups and further from shore than Humboldt Penguin.

[edit] Status

Classified as Near Threatened [1]

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Breeds throughout the year (September-April on the Falklands[3]). Colonial breeder on grassy islands, woodlands, sandhills and coastal bluffs. Nests in burrows in guano or sand, holes among rocks etc. lined with leaves, feathers and small stomes. Sometimes nests above ground. Eggs: two, sometimes 1, chalky-white, incubated by both sexes and young tended by both sexes.

[edit] Diet

They eat small fish, particularly pilchards and anchovies, also cuttlefish and squid.

[edit] Vocalisation

Voice: A braying call.

[edit] References

  1. BirdLife International. 2017. Spheniscus magellanicus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  3. Falklands Conservation - Magellanic penguin (retrieved from on 22 May 2018)
  4. Jaramillo, A. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117409
  5. Martínez, I., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 May 2018)
  6. Shirihai, H. (2002) A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife. The Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean. Princeton University Press: Princeton & Oxford.

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