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Penguin Rookery - Harberton Ranch
Departing from our office at the tourist dock in Ushuaia, we drive in our minibuses towards northeast along Nationals route 3 & J, the appealing road to Estancia Harberton. This is the first farm on the island, founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges, and it is located at 90 kms from Ushuaia, on the Beagle Channel. We sail from Harberton harbor to Martillo Island, a 15 minute ride on a semi-rigid boat (vessel capable of navigation in the area). On the island, we walk for 1 hour along Gentoo and Magellanics penguins, always with a guide, experiencing a unique adventure. Martillo Island is part of the Estancia Harberton, and home to Magellanic penguins between September and April. They share the habitat with other birds, such as skúas (their main predator), petrels, cormorants, vultures and South American terns. The rookery hosts around 1000 nests, and is one of the three Magellanic penguin rookeries in Tierra del Fuego. There is also a small colony of 9 breeding couples of gentoo penguins (Pygocelis Papua), the only one in South America.
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