UNESCO Patagonian Penguins

I was really torn before our visit to Puerto Madryn in Argentina. We had time to visit either the Península Valdés (Valdes Peninsula) UNESCO World Heritage Site or Punta Tombo Magellanic Penguin Colony, the largest in South America.

The arid Península Valdés

The arid Península Valdés

Both these options presented a rare opportunity. I love UNESCO sites and try to include them whenever possible. But how can you turn down the chance to see a penguin colony?

DSC_5312Our decision was made even more difficult when our stop at the Falkland Islands, where we were going to visit a Gentoo penguin colony, was cancelled because of bad weather.

The closest we got the the Falkland Islands

The closest we got the the Falkland Islands

In the end , we got the best of both worlds, when we got to see a Magellanic penguin colony on the Valdes Peninsula. What a beautiful moment!

DSC_5288Within the Península Valdés World Heritage Site is the Caleta Valdés (Valdes Creek) penguin colony. While nowhere near the size of the colony at Punta Tombo, it still has around 46,500 breeding pairs.

Caleta Valdés

Caleta Valdés

DSC_5361Amazingly, there were only two breeding pairs at Caleta Valdés in the early 1960s. Now that’s a success story!

In the 1960's, this would have been the entire Caleta Valdés colony

In the 1960’s, this would have been the entire Caleta Valdés colony

DSC_5328Where possible, Magellanic penguins like to nest in burrows in the ground.

Penguin burrows at Caleta Valdés

Penguin burrows at Caleta Valdés

A Magellanic penguin in its burrow

A Magellanic penguin in its burrow

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Although they nest on/in the ground, penguins are obviously happier in the ocean.

Time for a swim

Time for a swim

Nearly there...

Nearly there…

Bliss!

Bliss!

DSC_5299DSC_5300Magellanic penguins can reach up to about 28 inches in height and 10 pounds in weight.

A Magellanic penguin

A Magellanic penguin

Penguin portrait

Penguin portrait

DSC_5325DSC_5296DSC_5303Preening is very important for keeping feathers clean and waterproof.

Time for a little preen

Time for a little preen

DSC_5295DSC_5306DSC_5309Magellanic penguins are monogamous, meaning they keep the same partner for several breeding seasons.

Holding flippers

Holding flippers

Preening each other

Preening each other

DSC_5335DSC_5301DSC_5329This post was inspired by the photo themes of Feathers from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Rare from Ben of The Daily Post, and Ground from Dale of Spun With Tears.

Sorry I'm all blurry... I got a bit overexcited!

Sorry I’m all blurry… I got a bit overexcited!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Adventure, Environment, South America, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site, wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to UNESCO Patagonian Penguins

  1. Nadine says:

    Thank you for sharing these pictures, they are so cute ❤ I envy you for having an opportunity to see them

  2. Seattle Park Lover says:

    Wonderful photos! Penguins always look so happy.

  3. jpeggytaylor says:

    OHHH! How gorgeous are those penguins! 😀 How wonderful that you found this colony unexpectedly … and how wonderful that they are such a breeding success as sadly a lot of seabirds are currently being badly hit by climate changes. Thankyou for sharing this visit to Valdes peninsular – I love penguins 😀

  4. klara says:

    so beautiful. you made a good choice :-). it makes me happy when some species, instead of coming close to extinction (which is often the case) manage to recover and thrive.

    • Jaspa says:

      It was a wonderful experience, Klara. And that day we also saw sea lions, elephant seals, and a whole bunch of birds and animals inland (more posts to follow, I think!).

  5. Wonderful pics – capture a sense of penguin fun and affection! Thanks for sharing them.

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