Magellanic Penguin – Spheniscus magellanicus

Magellanic Penguin 'Jackass' in its loud mournful braying call

A summer visitor to the Falkland Islands. It is found all around the coastline where ground is suitable for burrowing, particularly in areas of tussac or where tussac previously grew. No accurate survey has been undertaken but numbers are estimated to be about 100,000 pairs, probably less than 10% of the world population. Magellanic Penguins arrive in the Falklands in early September and leave about mid-April. They are great travellers reaching as far north as southern Brazil, occasionally reaching Rio de Janiero. In a recent study, one bird travelled 2,661km (1663 miles) in 75 days. The local name of ‘Jackass’ is derived from its loud mournful braying call, a typical sound of the Falkland summer which continues through much of the night.