Photo Essay: 120,000 Penguins and Me

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Penguins are simply adorable, aren’t they?

Before disembarking at a floating dock on Isla Magdalena (Chile), I had only watched them behind a glass in the Zoo, where a couple of dozens occupied the fake islands and saw their days pass by staring to each other and, from time to time, having a short dive into the water.

The Magellanic penguins on Isla Magdalena had nothing to do with the picture I had from the Zoo. thousands of penguins were waddling down the hills towards the sea to go and catch lunch for their family, while their partners took care of their furry chicks. Some of them wandered in groups of friends, while others stood by them selves calling out for their life partners.

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Yes, that’s right. Penguins mate for life.

Not only are they loyal, but build a relationship based on teamwork – they build their nest together and then make shifts on catching fish and raising their chicks. Year after year, male penguins search for their female partners, who recognize them through the male’s calls. I spotted a few of them hoping to reconnect with their beloved ones!

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Isla Magdalena is not as easy to access as the smaller colony in Seno Otway, about an hour drive from Punta Arenas.

Despite receiving far less visitors than Otway, the birds were curious about us – some of them even seemed to enjoyed standing in front of a camera!

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Isla Magdalena, Chile

Although our visit was short – about an hour on land -, the visit is most definitely worth it! I managed to use up my camera’s battery, but returned with at least 60 unique postcards.

I could have stayed the whole day watching them.

Isla Magdalena, Chile

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20 Responses to “Photo Essay: 120,000 Penguins and Me”

  1. MeriFebruary 3, 2012 at 5:14 AM #

    I’m loving this post- I’m a huge penguin fan! (who isn’t). thanks for sharing!

  2. ChristineFebruary 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM #

    What an incredible experience to have! Loved this.

  3. Eurotrip TipsFebruary 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM #

    Awww, so cute! I’m definitely a sucker for all-things animal, and these penguins are no exception! Not sure I will ever vist Chile but it looks really beautiful.

  4. EdnaFebruary 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM #

    Too cute! I’ve loved penguins since I was a toddler and seeing them in Antarctica is at the top of my bucket list. Good to know I can get up close and personal with them in Chile too!

  5. Andi of My Beautiful AdventuresFebruary 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM #

    Those post totally took my breath away, GORGEOUS photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. ArianaFebruary 3, 2012 at 8:01 PM #

    I love penguins! This year in my little British town, the Christmas festivities included some penguin visitors from Chile that looked just like these. I don’t think it was the nicest thing to do to these little guys, but I certainly did not miss the chance to visit them, and they waddled right up to me!

  7. Patricia GWFebruary 3, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    Awww, these little guys are so cute!!

  8. AndreaFebruary 4, 2012 at 5:52 AM #

    Love these shots – you’ve really captured them – adorable!!

  9. minhzieFebruary 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM #

    So wonderful!!

  10. RossFebruary 6, 2012 at 5:33 AM #

    How amazing would this have been to do. Just to see them in their natural habitat like that would be great and to see them in such a large number.

  11. ZhuFebruary 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM #

    I know the exactly the place! We didn’t make it there though, we had to bus/boat to Ushuaia and the bus was only once a week so we would have missed it :-( They are such great animals, they look clumsy but so cute!

  12. AudreyFebruary 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

    They are cute! These penguins are working the camera! :D

  13. SabrinaFebruary 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM #

    These are the cutest pictures! I’ve only ever seen penguins in zoos and this looks like a completetly different experience. Not even comparable. They’re beautiful!

  14. TathataFebruary 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

    Your post made my day!
    I just thought I’d tell you :)

  15. KaliMarch 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM #

    Working at an animal hospital animals hold such a special place in my heart. They look so innocent and sweet. At the same time though they look so mature and wise. I even see a couple smiles on them. We should look to a penguin to see what life should really be like. Maybe the world would be a happier place? This is a place I would love to include on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

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