And the correct answer to the number of Magellanic penguins in the photo above: 16
Okay, yes, this was a challenging question. In fact, of all the people who answered, only 2 got it right!
Which ones are which? For reference, take a look at the circled penguins in the photo above. Those are all of the Magellanic penguins. Some of them are juveniles, which might have thrown a few guesses off since their plumage is not as distinct. There is one penguin that is well hidden and took a lot analyzing to be sure, and it was the one with the two arrows. More on that below.
How to identify: Magellanic penguins have two black stripes (and two white stripes) under their chin, with black bills, and black legs and feet. The rest of the penguins in the photo are all Gentoo penguins. The distinguishing mark of the Gentoo is the white patch on top of its head, and they have orange bills with orange legs and feet. That’s your penguin identification lesson for the day.
Alright, now to discuss the penguin with the two arrows. This one is a challenge because it’s mostly hidden. Take a look at the arrow on the right. That arrow is pointing at the penguin’s head. If you look very closely, you can barely see the arc of the white crescent stripe that curves along the side of a Magellanic penguin’s head. The arrow on the left is pointing toward the tail. If this was a Gentoo, there would be white showing here along the grass due to the Gentoo’s rounder, plumper body shape which pushes the white feathers on their upper legs out to the side enough to be seen. Instead, only black feathers are showing near the tail. So, based on these markings, that penguin is identified as a Magellanic.
Congratulations to the two winners:
- Mackenzie S.
- Jeff W.
Thanks to all for participating! We’ll have a new quiz in two weeks with more prizes.
The winners from today’s quiz will have a message sent to the email address they provided with instructions for receiving their 2019 Penguins International photo calendar. Great job, you are true masters of penguin identification!
Questions about this? Leave a comment below.