The Argentinian marine biologists reported of quite an unusual event that has recently taken place. They spotted a flock of around one million Magellanic penguins that gathered near the Punta Tombo peninsula to look for food.
This strange gathering of such a large number of penguins in search for food is peculiar, since experts have only seen flocks as large only during the breeding season. Also, such a number is quite a record for the species. Locals declared that Magellanic penguins came every year in the area to search for food, but they had never seen a flock so big before.
The massive gathering was given by the sudden invasion of Punta Tombo by anchovies, crustaceans, sardines, or other fish that instantly attracted the Magellanic penguins to come for a feast.
Also, the small islands across the shoreline act as important nesting areas, which makes the species migrate there every year from Chile and southern Argentina. Their breeding season and migration starts in autumn, in late September.
Magellanic penguins are easy to differentiate from other penguin species. They are about twenty inches tall and have a distinctive plumage of white feathers. They are usually found in Argentina and Chile during the breeding seasons, but can even reach southwestern Brazil, where they live from March to September.
Although the species is not threatened, massive fishing has had quite a big impact on these penguins and thousands of specimens were killed in the Falkland Islands for commercial purposes. Also, oil pollution has recently started to have a negative effect on them. Statistics show that almost 40,000 Magellanic penguins are killed every year only in Argentina.
Also, there are other bird sightings around the world where viewers can witness the penguins in their natural habitats. For example, Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the places where those who are interested can watch how flocks of African penguins behave every day.
Such live sessions have become widely popular since, last November, a footage appeared where two male Magellanic penguins were fighting over a female. Such a behavior is quite unusual for the species, since they are generally more peaceful.
These live video sessions can be really educational and offer much information to those who are interested in Magellanic penguins. Also, they should raise awareness that all species need to be protected, regardless of their status as threatened or not threatened.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons