Posts Tagged penguins

coffee and penguins

Posted on April 21, 2012 by 1 Comment

We chatted with one of the friendly (lonely?) rangers and he told us that all the action in the penguin colony was at sunset and at sunrise. We lucked out the first night and showed up when all the little guys were coming home from work and were making a big commotion.

So, we decided to come back at sunrise and see if the kerfuffle was any different.

It was – they were all pointed the other direction.  At sunrise, all the penguin dads put on their suit and head off to work. They get on a penguin highway from their little hole all cruise the way to the sea. They hop in, flop around and get everything good and wet, then take off like a pack of porpoises. Jumping and diving in and out of the water as they head out to sea. You can see them splashing and sailing in a line  all the way out to the horizon.

The ladies stay at home and take care of the nest. This doesn’t seem to entail much. This time of year, the adults are molting, so there is lots of preening and plucking. Later in the day, they start their unique family call (think donkey) so their mate knows where they are. When they get home, they trade places and the other goes out to fish for the afternoon.

At this time of year, the kids have already taken off. The newborns leave around February (at 4 months old) and head to Brazil by themselves. Mom and dad leave for warmer waters about now, so this is the end of the season here. Still, there are 9000 little pinguinos here to enjoy.

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Filed Under: Argentina

Penguin sunset

Posted on April 20, 2012 by 10 Comments

Cabos Dos Bahias. I don’t recall where we heard about it (Phil?), but it’s another little gem.

There is absolutely nothing out here except empty coastline, penguins, guanaco, skunks, armadillos, tumbleweeds and a few park rangers. No visitors. For two days, we had the entire reserve to ourselves. Cool wildlife, great camping… and it was all libre.

I have to wonder if the people that claim that this drive north is boring didn’t ever get off the highway. The main highway north is terrible – windy, full of trucks, and not much to look at. But, there is some seriously cool stuff out here if you get off the pavement.

fun facts:

-penguins mate for life

-skunks and armadillos love to eat penguin eggs

-penguins don’t give a damn about you or me

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Filed Under: Argentina

Los Reyes

Posted on March 31, 2012 by 12 Comments

The landowner next door was wrong about us getting into the Pinguineria for free that evening. He’d allowed us to use his land and wind shelter to camp, and said the dueno of the land next door was gone for the season and had closed up, and that we could just climb over the fence to view the King Penguins who had migrated to Tierra del Fuego.

Unfortunately, the night guard didn’t agree with that recommendation. But, he was willing to let us in for half price. The cost went directly into his pocket, but he led us very close to the penguins (much closer than the marked path for visitors).

These 3-foot tuxedoed beauties normally live in Antarctica, but this flock has inhabited this isolated beach for a few years now. It was something really magical to see. It was perfect penguin-weather, but us humans were forced to leave a little quicker than we’d wanted.

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Filed Under: Chile

Chiloé Pinguinos

Posted on February 2, 2012 by No Comments

Angela loves penguins.

We drove down the coast to the inlet at Puñihuil and hopped into a boat for a quick tour.

For about 10 bucks, they take your around 3 islands and you get to see Magellanic penguinos, Humboldt penguins, and all sorts of other sea creatures doing their thing.

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Filed Under: Chile

Isla Ballestas

Posted on March 30, 2011 by 2 Comments

The day started with a 2-hour boat tour to Isla Ballestas. Referred to as ‘The Poor Man’s Galapagos’ we weren’t sure what to expect, except a lot of bird shit.

Literally. The anchovy-rich waters around these islands prove delicious for tens of thousands of birds. And, these birds provide so much poop that they actually collect it and export it.

First, we cruised by The Candelabra – a Nasca lines sort of carving in the hillside facing the ocean. Apparently, this is the only one of it’s kind that can be viewed from ground-level (although you have to be floating  in the ocean to see it.) It’s supposed to be over 2000 years old. Why is it here and what does it mean – we have no idea.

Then, we approached the islands and were amazed by the number of birds. You can’t appreciate it until you see it and photos don’t do it justice.  More birds than we have ever seen in one place, and possibly more birds than we’ve cumulatively seen in our lifetime. Some places on the islands were so covered in birds that it looked like the landscape was black.

We saw Humbolt penguins, Peruvian boobies, comerants, oyster catchers and gulls. Luckily, we recognized these from our Galapagos trip since we couldn’t hear a thing the guide said. We even spotted some free-divers going after sea snails. This water is COLD and I can’t imagine spending the day floating around in it looking for snails.

This bird watching is big business. We had pulled into Paracas the night before and booked a $10 USD tour within minutes. This morning, when we arrived we grabbed the last 3 seats on one of many large tour boats that all took off about the same time. Our boat was filled mostly by an extremely well-outfitted Swiss tour group. I’ve never seen so many expensive outdoor gear brands anywhere but REI.

Despite the touristy feel, it was really fun, especially for Bode. He was keen to identify the various birds and he knew most of them. When the show was over and we headed back to the mainland with a chilly ride , Bode spent the entire ride under Jason’s jacket.

We’ve heard that getting pooped on may be good luck, but we decided NOT getting pooped on this time was a better way to go. And, for some reason everything on this trip is on the left… so if you come, sit on the left side.

The day started with a 2-hour boat tour to Isla Ballentas. Referred to as ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’ we weren’t sure what to expect, except a lot of shit. 

Literally. The anchovy-rich waters around these islands prove delicious for hundreds of thousands of birds. And, these birds provide enough poop that they export it.

We weren’t prepared for the number of birds flying overhead and just kicking back on the rocky islands. More birds than we have ever seen in one place, and possibly more birds than we’ve seen in our lifetime. Some places on the islands were so covered in birds that it looked as though the landscape had changed color.

We saw Humbolt penguins, Peruvian boobies, comerants, oyster catchers and gulls. Luckily, we recognized these from our Galapagos trip since we couldn’t hear a thing the guide said.

This bird watching is big business. We had pulled into Paracas the night before and booked a tour within minutes. This morning, when we arrived we grabbed the last 3 seats on one of many large tour boats that all took off about the same time. Our boat was filled mostly by an extremely well-outfitted Swiss tour group. I’ve never seen so many expensive outdoor gear brands anywhere but REI.

Despite the touristy feel, it was really fun, especially for Bode. He was so proud of himself when he could find and identify the various birds. When the show was over and we headed back to the mainland, Bode spent the entire ride under Jason’s jacket.

We’ve heard that getting pooped on may be good, but we decided NOT getting pooped on was a better way to go.

The day started with a 2-hour boat tour to Isla Ballentas. Referred to as ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’ we weren’t sure what to expect, except a lot of shit.

 

Literally. The anchovy-rich waters around these islands prove delicious for hundreds of thousands of birds. And, these birds provide enough poop that they export it.

 

We weren’t prepared for the number of birds flying overhead and just kicking back on the rocky islands. More birds than we have ever seen in one place, and possibly more birds than we’ve seen in our lifetime. Some places on the islands were so covered in birds that it looked as though the landscape had changed color.

 

We saw Humbolt penguins, Peruvian boobies, comerants, oyster catchers and gulls. Luckily, we recognized these from our Galapagos trip since we couldn’t hear a thing the guide said.

 

This bird watching is big business. We had pulled into Paracas the night before and booked a tour within minutes. This morning, when we arrived we grabbed the last 3 seats on one of many large tour boats that all took off about the same time. Our boat was filled mostly by an extremely well-outfitted Swiss tour group. I’ve never seen so many expensive outdoor gear brands anywhere but REI.

 

Despite the touristy feel, it was really fun, especially for Bode. He was so proud of himself when he could find and identify the various birds. When the show was over and we headed back to the mainland, Bode spent the entire ride under Jason’s jacket.

 

We’ve heard that getting pooped on may be good, but we decided NOT getting pooped on was a better way to go.

 

 

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Filed Under: Peru