Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Order: Sphenisciformes | Family: Spheniscidae  | IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Punta Tombo, Argentina

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. P. Valdez, Argentina

Age: Adult & Juveniles | Sex: Unknown | Loc. P. Valdez, Argentina

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. P. Valdez, Argentina

Identification & Behavior: ~68.5 cm (27 in). Adults Magellanic Penguins have black backs and white underparts. They have two black bands between the head and the breast, with the lower band prolonging down the sides of the bird. The head is black with a broad white border that runs from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, and joins at the throat. Chicks and younger penguins have grey backs and whitish underparts. Young birds have a blotched pattern on their feet, which fades to black as birds reach adulthood. Magellanic Penguin is distinguished from similar Humboldt Penguin by having two black breast bands between the head and the breast (only one in Humboldt Penguin).

Status: The Magellanic penguins is considered a regular vagrant in Peru. Photographic records have been reported from Punta San Juan, and Paracas Peninsula in Ica, and Punta Coles, Tacna.

Name in Spanish: Pingüino de Magallanes.

Sub-species: Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus), Forster, JR, 1781.

Meaning of Name: Spheniscus:  Gr. Sphen= Wedge-shaped, refers to the shape of Penguin’s body.  magellanicus: L. magellani, magellanica= referring or originating from the Strait of Magellan in southern South America.

See more of the Family Spheniscidae   peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 11/09/2014.