Monday, February 15, 2010

Magellanic Penquins on Magdalena Island (Near Punta Arenas) Part 4

After docking in Punta Arenas on December 26, we caught a short bus ride to another pier where we boarded a car ferry for our excursion to Magdalena Island, located in the Straights of Magellan.  This island is a penquin preserve for Magellanic Penquins.  The penquin colony consists of approximately 60,000 breeding pairs!

Below is a picture of our tour group disembarking the bus and walking aboard the car ferry.

This part of the world must be hard on boats.

Arriving on the island.

After disembarking our group, the ship backed off; I assume for safety purposes and to allow room for other ships to come in.

Magellanic Penquins everywhere.

The island is uninhabited by humans now, but a very scenic lighthouse stands on the high ground.

I tried to get photos of penquins attacking Karen, but darn it, she would always jump back before the penquins could actually get at her!

This little guy had some seaweed or kelp stuck on his head.

Many of the penquins would point their beaks up at the sky and continuously let loose with loud, raucous calls.

Occasionally, you would see a couple of them kind of sparring/clacking their beaks together.  It looked like playful rather than aggressive behavior.

Though very sleek and fast in the water, they sure looked funny waddling about on shore!

Here's a picture of one of the babies.  Very distinguishable by their large size and soft, downy, light brown coat.  The adults lose weight while trying to keep the ravenous young well supplied with food.

Two chicks and an adult.

There were also many breeding pairs of Kelp Gulls on the island.

Kelp Gull in flight.  Don't ask how many shots I had to take to get one in sharp focus!

Pair of Kelp Gulls with egg and chick.

Close-up of egg and chick.

Shore line covered with penquins.

Our ship coming back to get us as our group head back down.

Getting back on board for the return trip.

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