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The Seno Otway Colony is located 70km north of Punta Arenas, in Chile’s Southern Patagonia Region.

More than 5000 pairs of Magellanic penguins make this spot of shoreline on the Strait of Magellan their home. They live in small burrows in the ground where they raise their young. The penguins can be seen marching back and forth from their burrows and the sea where they search for food. The pairs raise two chicks per season.

A boardwalk and viewing platforms criss cross the reserve. The penguins walk and hoot just steps from you. They tend to wait until groups of people pass before moving at times, therefore, signs are placed at certain points that tourists should not stop for any reason as to not interfere with the penguins feeding their young.

Before the reserve was established in 1991, the colony had just 400 penguins. It has sharply grown since.

The Magellan Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) breeds throughout the coast of Southern Chile, Tierra del Fuego and north along the coast of Argentina and on the Falkland Islands. They aren’t as threatened as the Humboldt penguin; however, many of the breeding colonies are threatened. It stands 18 inches tall and weighs approximately 8 pounds. The penguins number around 2 million in South America.

The penguin has a black head and upper parts and has two white stripes beneath the neck. One stripe runs up behind the cheeks and above the eye. The other stripe runs adjacent to the white under parts with which they merge above the legs. Many companies make the tour by bus every afternoon from Punta Arenas. En route you see fantastic Patagonia scenery in every direction and often encounter the ostrich like rhea, hares, and skunks. Admission to the reserve is just $4.


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