On the final morning of Australis Cruise, we all rise bright and early for Los Pingüinos Natural Monument. Finally, the day has come, Penguins! We disembark on the island and the scenery couldn’t be better, a gorgeous, colorful sunrise and penguins. Penguins everywhere! These little wobbling creatures are so fun looking. I’m totally overwhelmed with penguin joy. Nugs (aka Nuggy, aka Steven, aka my boyfriend) and I just stood and observed them for a while. Magellanic penguins burrow, forming underground nesting colonies. Word of advice, DO NOT mess with their colony. Don’t even think about going near it or they’ll defend themselves and their eggs.
One of the guides told us that the penguins actually "decorate" their burrow and I just kind of brushed that off because what does that even mean. BUT THEN we watched as they would go back and fourth collect rocks, leaves, and kindling to decorate their colony! WHAT? How are they doing that?! Literally for a long while we watched as one would go fetch some leaves or branches and bring them into their hole that they dig themselves.
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. HOW COOL IS THAT!! Unfortunately because of climate change, fish populations have been displaced so the Magellanic penguins must swim an extra 25 miles further from the nest for fish. All the while their mates are sitting on a nest and starving. Uchh how sad? :(