I have been fascinated by the penguins since long. In 2009 when I visited Chile, I had the occasion to visit one of the penguin colonies. I was in the town called Puerto Natales (Please see the map above).
I contacterd a local tour company. They sent an SUV sort of vehicle to pick me up from the hostal where I was staying. The vehicle had 5 other tourists, besides a guide and the driver. We set out for the Magellan Penguins’ Colony at Seno Otway, 65 kilometers away from the city of Punta Arenas, in the Chilean Patagonia.
There are about 6.000 penguins’ species (Sphenicus magellanicus) between September and March. They hatch and raise at this place and by the end of March the babies are grown enough to start the winter migration with their parents. I was told that the Magellanic penguins mate with the same partner year after year. The male reclaims his burrow from the previous year and waits to reconnect with his female partner. The females are able to recognize their mates through their call alone.
One is able to admire the grace of the Magellan penguins within their natural habitat, A limited area has been earmarked with paths. The tourists are allowed to move through the signaled trails to enjoy the view of these birds in or outside their nests, or from the small observation towers (Mirador Torre) located some meters away from the beach. We were advised not to make any sound or noise while visiting. The idea is not to distract the penguins. Yes, it was a wonderful sight to see the penguins playing around.
That is me near an Observation Tower.
Beautiful sunset at the site.
We spent about an hour and a half there and it started becoming dark signalling that it was time for the tourists to leave.A board at the site explaining the reproductive cycle of Magallanes penguins.
Another drive of about an hour and we were back in Puerto Natales. The total duration of the trip was 3 hrs 30 min approx.
(The unmarked photos are from Wikipedia)
Photos, text & copyright K.J.S.Chatrath 2014.
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