Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus)

If you visit Volunteer Point from September to early April you will more than likely see Magellanic penguins scuttling across the beach or peering out of their burrows.  Be careful where you walk along the dunes as the Magellanics burrows are angled in to the sand or under bushes and are easily damaged if walked on.  It is so important even out of season, to be careful, because it is usual for the same pair to return each year to reclaim their burrow.

As well as being reasonable fragile, the burrows themselves can be dangerous to humans.  Although the Magellanic penguins can be approached by humans they are wary and can inflict a strong bite if handled.  peering into burrows therefore can be at your own risk if there is a penguin inside.  Whether the burrow is occupied or not there is a good possibility it is infested with fleas that also have unpleasant bites.

With all that said, these birds are inquisitive, happy birds that when treated with respect will put on a great show of their lifestyles. They are relatively noisy birds, making a braying noise like a donkey (hence the reason for their local name of Jackass penguins)