It depends on the type of penguin. So I am going to assume you mean the Emperor Penguin, the ones filmed for “March of the Penguins”.
Scientists do not know exactly how they find their way to the specific breeding spot, but it is known, that the penguins always choose very large and flat areas where the ice is solid and can handle the sheer amount of penguins all at once. They migrate 70 miles, just to get to that specific spot. This is always something that has baffled scientists as to how these animals know how to get there, therefore the only conclusion to that is, instinct.
If you are referring to Emperor Penguins they hatch as young there, so they already have an idea of what it looks like. It is believed birds have a magnetic connection with the earth that navigates them to various locations. Birds also use clues from the environment from the sun or stars depending on when they travel. The information is from _The Human Nature of Birds: A Scientific Discovery with Startling Implications_ by Theodore Xenophon Barber, Ph.D. pg 68-69. You can get it in paperback.
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