Description: Named after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1519, the Magellanic Penguin is mostly black above and white below. It has a white crescent shaped stripe on either side of the head that extends from the top of bill, through the eye and ends below the eye. It also has two broad black bands across the breast, the second of which extends diagonally through the flanks in the shape of a large, inverted horseshoe. Finally, the Magellanic Penguin has a vertical white stripe that extends from near the feet to an area just above the flippers.
The Magellanic Penguin normally grows to about two and a half feet in height and weighs up to 11 pounds.
Diet: Fish, crustaceans, krill.
Range: Rocky shores of the Falkland Islands, Argentina, and Chile.
Nesting: Unlike many penguin species, the Magellanic builds a burrow underneath a bush, shrub, or rock. The female lays two eggs, both of which are tended to. After about six weeks, the eggs hatch and the female and male take two-week shifts tending to the chicks. When the chicks are hatched, the parents care for them for 30 days.
Status: Over 400,000 breeding pairs have been recorded in the southern reaches of South America and the Falkland Islands. Because the entire population is concentrated in a small area, these birds are at constant risk of natural disaster or disease. Thousands die every year from small oil spills and being caught in fishing nets.