Normally, when we talk about penguins , we imagine birds with black plumage, walking awkwardly and living in regions of extreme cold, right?!
Penguins are present in warm regions as well. in addition to the Antarctic continent, we can find them in Sub-Antarctic Islands, South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand as far as the Galapagos Islands.
And the presence of these little guys in Brazil is becoming increasingly common on beaches in the south and southeast region in the winter period. Visitors are Spheniscus magellanicus , better known as Magellanic Penguins .
The physiognomy of penguins is a little different from other birds, as they do not have pneumatic bones, their upper limbs are modified for swimming, and their legs are short and are located at the rear end of the body.
The characteristics that differentiate Magellanic penguins from others are:
- Presence of a white band that passes through the eyebrows and neck.
- Black head, wings, neck, eyes, beaks and feet,
- Belly and chest are white with a dark band around this region.
Touristing in Brazil
Brazilian beaches are visited by penguins every year. But 2020 broke a record for penguins on its coast: The number of these visitors was the highest in the last five years!
A total of 3084 penguins were recorded on the Brazilian coast, this monitoring being carried out by the Beach Monitoring Project (PMP).
Well, this visit is not just tourism…
Because they end up on Brazilian beaches because they are weakened , due to dehydration, hypothermia and hunger. Those who make it to the coast alive end up undergoing rehabilitation here in Brazil. However, researchers are still investigating what caused this large increase in stray penguins off the Brazilian coast.
Why do they migrate?
And as for migration , do you know why they do it?
Penguins perform the winter migration that extends through the months of May, June and July. The return to the colony in the months of August and September marks the end of the migratory phase, and then the reproduction period begins  .
They breed in colonies in the region of Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Once a year they migrate to the warm waters of Brazil in winter in search of fish, squid and other crustaceans.
Migration is a phenomenon that occurs with either birds, mammals, insects, or fish. It consists of the periodic displacement of animals in search of environments favorable to their survival, environments with abundance of food and a mild climate.
In birds, migration movements usually occur between breeding regions and wintering areas (you can read more about it by clicking on this post ).
Penguins , in their migration, end up being used by researchers as monitors of marine life, because through them scientists analyze the rates and nature of changes that occur in the Western South Atlantic  .
But what if you found a penguin, would you know what to do?
follow the recommendations
You already understand that in the winter season it is common in parts of the Brazilian coast the presence of penguins. So it’s always good to be careful if you find one. Both for your safety and for the safety of the animal. Are they:
- Do not approach the animal if it is swimming, as it may feel threatened and may try to defend itself;
- Do not attempt to return it to the water;
- Call a service agency;
- If taking pictures, avoid flash (this can scare them);
- Do not try to feed him or put him in contact with ice;
- Try to keep it in a shade. If not, improvise one.