While in Punta Arenas in January, we arranged to visit the nearby Isla Magdalena by boat to see the Magallanic penguins. They are often called “donkey penguins” because they raise their heads and honk like a donkey in order to posture in front of other penguins or predators. It is said that there are 60,000 breeding pairs on the island.
Two colonies are located near Punta Arenas–Seno Otway or Isla Magdalena. We heard that there were many more penguins to see at the island which is only an hour and a half away from the city. Seno Otway is accessible on the mainland.
The colony on Isla Magdalena seems used to hordes of touristas snapping pictures and cooing over the fat, fuzzy babies. The adults would patiently wait for a clearing in the human pathway so they could cross in a little line. There were also some fat, awkward seagull babies.
When our boat pulled up to the island, I was so excited to see a beach teaming with penguins.
Filed under Animals, Chile
In St. James Walkway in central New Zealand, E. and I had a trail all to ourselves in March 2005. We were ushering in the break of fall. The first morning of the trail when we clambered out of our camper van to start the four day hike, the frost and the searing cold air stole our breath. Both of us had the good fortune of enjoying the trail by ourselves, as many other trails in the South Island are over-tread hot spots teaming with tourists. I pulled out my gloves from my backpack and pulled my cap down.
I mentioned green parrots when I first arrived. I kept hearing them squawk to one another in the lean pines outside the apartment, but I wasn’t completely convinced I was right.
I’m a novice bird watcher, so I don’t have complete faith in my bird hunches. My happiest ornithological moment was stalking the elusive kiwi at dusk on Stewart Island, New Zealand. I actually found them.
Finally, I received some validation on the green parrots when I saw them cackling through the park the other day. Now I see them every day. They zip much faster than the clunky pigeons around here, who flutter from balcony to balcony. It’s too bad I can’t get a closer look, but they blend in so well once they get nestled up in the branches.
Here’s the best picture I could find.