Friday, January 27, 2017


The Penguins of the Falkland Islands

It's been nearly a year since I traveled via a Holland America cruise to the Falkland Islands off the southeast coast of Argentina. 
Torn between which land excursion to take, King Penguin 4x4 Adventure or North Pond Penguin Colony, my partner and I chose the latter. 
As a result we were able to stroll among the colonies of Gentoo and Magellanic penguins that call this stretch of South Atlantic beach their home.

Penguins are found only in the Southern Hemisphere, but not exclusively in the ice and snow of Antarctica. 
In fact, the Falkland Islands is one of the world's great penguin capitals.

As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands in the summer, representing five of the world's species -- 
Gentoo, Magellanic, King, Rockhopper, and Macaroni.

Gentoo Penguins are the world's third largest species, 
and the Falklands are the home to the largest population of Gentoo Penguins on earth. 

So what's the difference between Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins? 
Gentoo Penguins have reddish orange beaks, yellow feet, and a broad white chest.
They nest in colonies in above-ground nests.

Magellanic Penguins have black beaks and black feet. 
But the most distinguishing feature is the white striping 
around the eyes and above the white chest
They live in below-ground burrows. 

Since we were there in February which is nearing the end of summer, 
these juvenile Magellanic Penguins were in the last stages of molting 
hence the abundance of downy feathers on the ground.

This is a test: 
Gentoo or Magellanic?

Gentoo or Magellanic?

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