Saturday, March 20, 2010

Penguin Colony in Punta Tombo, Argentina

It is claimed that this is the biggest pinguinera (penguin colony) in the world with estimates as high as 500,000 Magellanic Penguins. It is located south of Puerto Madryn and easily accessible from Trelew via Route 3. There is a new asphalted road but still does not go all the way to the pinguinera.
As one walks into the rookery, the landscape looks like a battlefield full of artillery impact holes from WW I. These are penguins nests made in the brownish soil. The extent of the rookery is immense and penguins are everywhere. These birds walk long distances from the beach to get to their nests. They start arriving in September and leave by late March after the young have grown.

This a national park and it is very well organized with game wardens every where keeping and eye in the visitors. There is a restaurant by the entrance to the park. All is requested is to stay inside the roped trails and to “look but don’t touch”. These trails transect the rookery and when walking, penguins will cross the trail oblivious to the observers.

At times, a penguin will walk and stop in from of you to take a close view of the intruder, there is no fear, and then it will walk away. You can closely watch these cute birds, they can really get in your face is you seat on the trail.

The young penguin above is molting and the adult plumage is beginning to grow, at the end of the process it will look like the adult below. You may be able to discern the end of the bill that ends in sharp beak while the lower mandible ends flat creating a very efficient tool for feeding.
Adults feed the begging chicks by regurgitating the sumptuous meals of squids and fish. Some times there are spills but these do not go to waste, there are always skuas and gulls near by to pick the morsels.

The nests are everywhere and some are empty and others with young penguins or sleeping adults. These nests are shared with other animals, one that is common but I was not able to get a good image is the cuis, a small rodent, need to go back. There are also hairy armadillos, guanacos as well as gulls, hawks, skuas and a variety of smaller birds.

There is a continuous cacophony of noise, particularly among the chicks begging for food or adults quarreling. When calling, they stand erect with the bill pointing towards the sky while flipping their wings. These are territorial birds and fights are resolved by who can call the loudest but at times, short chases take place.

Lots of the chicks were molting and loosing their birthday suits, kind of a brownish color down. The young are also very promiscuous and seem to associate with other young ones for adventures and explorations. These are left alone while the parents are out fishing.

There is a beach that is the major access to the colony to the sea and the shoreline is full of thousands of penguins. Some arriving from their fishing trips, upon hitting the shore, they hurried up the hill searching for their dear ones. In the way to their nests they are accosted by chicks looking for a meal; no luck, these birds go straight to their siblings. It is entertaining to see the young penguins learning to swim under the close eye of a parent, once in the water they are dive and swim just as Esther Williams in a white& black bathing suit. Punta Tombo is one of those places where nature and human are peacefully getting along.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

The noise from these places can be overwhelming. :) When I see them molting like that I always wonder if it itches? :)

Wonderful post Jose.

Jeannette StG said...

Great close-ups Jose. And the next to last penguin shot is a strong statement!

明宏 said...

台灣夫妻自拍做愛自拍照片打炮自拍貼圖夫妻自拍片免費a動畫交友內容同志聊天室ut同志線上看吊帶襪美女圖后工后宮無碼圭賢七年間的愛歌詞圭賢圖片好色貼片區如何延遲射精如何做愛持久如何做愛最爽如何讓女生舒服宅女的幸福生活同志性愛片同志色網站同志色文學交援妹伊莉討論區小說伊莉貼圖區伊莉影片網伊莉論台伊葉情貼片區伊葉情貼圖視訊聊天室 免費視訊 pc交友4u成人

Tim Rucci said...

Interesting stuff, Jose. It's really nice that you are able to get up so close and observe the birds, as well as take pictures. Must have been an awesome place.

Anonymous said...

adult成人情色激情成人聊天網情色影片色情俱樂部性愛影片情趣淫水影音情色限制級照片live show女生自慰影片超屌成人情色留言板淫亂女自慰免費視訊辣妹巨乳鹹濕色情影音聊天自拍走光照片免費情色av圖片亞洲情色論壇淫慾免費裸女圖片裙底風光台灣色情論壇一夜正妹淫娃網情色下載a圖片全裸淫蕩女人情色影音聊天高潮自慰色情圖片成人自拍女生自慰亞洲成人色情dvd舔乳頭女生自慰影片台灣色情網站台灣性樂園sex story情色影音激情聊天室嘿咻情色自拍

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.