Dee Boersma on the Migration Process (continued)

Magellanic penguins leave Punta Tombo starting in mid-January, when the first chicks fledge. The next wave to leave are the juveniles, and by April, only adults remain at the colony. Most adults are inland at their nest sites, finishing the molt. My mid-April, the majority of adults have completed the molt, and head out to sea for the winter.

When they leave Punta Tombo, Magellanic penguins swim rapidly, often covering more than 70 km per day. By late April, they have moved north and feed, replenishing the storage reserves that they used during the molt. Anchovy are one of the penguins' favorite prey, but squid, hake, and other small fish are often eaten. Some penguins appear to winter along the Argentine coast and others appear to move north following the migration of their prey species.

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