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Photographer's Note

It is such a delightful experience to come face to face with this adult penguin just step out of its nest, which is just a hole in the ground on the left, to enjoy the sun which finally shined through the thick morning clouds.

The Magallanes region is home to one of the largest penguin colonies in Chile: Magdalena Island, which includes an incredible 200,000 Magellanic penguins.
The island is 35 kilometers from Punta Arenas, in the middle of the Strait of Magellan. Navigating in these waters is especially difficult as this is where the ocean currents from the Atlantic and the Pacific mix.
The famous love song of the penguins occurs on this island, though for sure it has to be one of the songs less melodious in nature. Rather, it looks like a big concert of donkeys singing out of tune. But they are very flirtatious, bowing, and moving the neck to clean one another. The penguins are, however, monogamous and maintain long-term bonds: the females choose the male that mated with them the previous year. The males arrive first to fix the nest and a couple of weeks later the females arrive, they mate and the females lay two eggs which incubate for 40 days. Here begins the most difficult stage for both parents, as they pass through a time of famine and weaken while trying to protect the nest from predators. On this island, the largest threats are other birds such as gulls and skuas, which exploit any neglected nest to steal eggs and even attack the young at birth.

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Additional Photos by Way Lim (Waylim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2732 W: 154 N: 6183] (25436)
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