Family Penguins (Spheniscidae)

Near Threatened

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)


French: Manchot de Magellan German: Magellanpinguin Spanish: Pingüino magallánico

Aptenodytes magellanicus

J. R. Forster

, 1781,

Strait of Magellan


Closely related to S. demersus and S. humboldti. Monotypic.


Coastal C Chile and C Argentina S to Cape Horn; also breeds in Falkland Is.

Descriptive notes

70–76 cm; 2·3–7·8 kg. White-browed penguin with double blackish pectoral band. Adult has upperparts entirely black or blackish down, narrowly, to... read more


Loud braying calls at colony Group calling and bill-touching. Contact call, usually given at sea... read more


Marine; pelagic on migration. Nests on beaches, sand dunes or clay hills, sometimes in forest or on... read more

Food and feeding

Small fish, also cephalopods and some crustaceans. Size range of prey 25–160 mm. Main food pelagic schooling fish, especially... read more


Arrival at colony Aug–Sept, egg-laying in Sept–Nov. Colonial, sometimes in large colonies. Nest in burrow up to 2 m long, or in... read more


Migratory, moving N from Apr to Aug, following completion of moult: commonly reaches N Argentina... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. According to data summarized by BirdLife, global population at end of 20th century estimated at 1,300,000 pairs... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez, I., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 April 2020).