Monday, July 28, 2008

B is for the Birds

of the Galapagos Islands, that is. What did you think I meant? Go to Wednesday ABC (the new site) and Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday (the old site) to see how others have interpreted the letter "B".

In June of 1999 Otto and I went to the Galapagos Islands. I was still using a non-digital camera without even a zoom lens. You would think that I would be ill-equipped to film wildlife. But animals on the Galapagos Islands are different. Through the ages they have seldom if ever encountered human predators. The swallow-tailed gull and her chick in the photo above are perfectly willing to share a log on the beach with a human companion.


In the above photo, a male frigate bird inflates his display pouch while his mate hunkers down on their nest.

He will take his turn at incubating the single egg. Here the pair exchange places.


Frigate birds nest in low brush, but their true domain is the sky where they harass any passing fish-carrying bird in an attempt to steal food when the other bird drops it.


Fish-eating flightless cormorants have forgone usable wings in favor of faster underwater speed. In this rookery of flightless cormorants, the males not only share incubation duties, they bring back baubles to embellish the nest. Note the nest to the far left decorated with a starfish. Shells are favorite decor, as are bottle caps, especially brightly colored ones.


Boobies come in three varieties in the Galapagos. The above is a masked booby. The shadow illustrates just how unafraid he is of humans.

The rookeries of blue-footed boobies cling to cliffs above the sea. I took this photo from a Zodiac landing craft on the water.

Red-footed booby.


It's a magical moment when a flight of blue-footed boobies sails up into the mist.

20 comments:

Kim said...

Oh how I long to go to the Galapagos. Beautiful pictures for a beautiful place.

CaBaCuRl said...

How fortunate to travel to such a magnificent place. And so many birds to see too....great pictures, & great memories for you too .

linda may said...

G'Day Granny,
I hope the earth quake I heard of on the news this morning was not near you. I hope I am not showing my geographical ignorance too.He he.
I was interested to hear of the flightless cormorant. And that they decorate their nests, like our bowerbirds in Australia do. The Galapagos are an extraordinary arc aren't they. You have had so many adventures.

nina said...

Sometimes I think it is dangerous for them not to fear us.
The Galapagos is such a marvelous place.

Nina at Nature Remains

magiceye said...

that was indeed beautiful!

RuneE said...

One of the places I really would like to go!!

To follow the great Darwin and see the differences from island to island - some dream!

nonizamboni said...

A trip of a lifetime! Wonderful photos of those extraordinary sea birds. Made my heart soar to see them.
Thank you for taking the time to leave your kind messages that give me such encouragement and love.
Happy Wednesday, Phyllis!
xxx

AphotoAday said...

What a trip that must have been...
Interesting shots...

Gemma said...

I love birds. How wonderful that you were able to visit Galapagos Islands.

Denise said...

The places we get to see on a Wednesday are amazing.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

How licky you are to have seen this all in person!

Texas Travelers said...

Great post.
Great adventure,
Great photos.
I would like to go there.
Thanks for sharing.

Come visit our Butterflies, Click here.
Troy and Martha

Larry D said...

Great photos, what an interesting unique and important place, thanks.

Sara said...

Thank you for showing us some of the birds on the Galapagos Islands!

david mcmahon said...

My favourite is the fourth shot.

I'm a committed traveller - and would love to be there on the islands.

Miss_Yves said...

Great post!Very interesting !The last picture is wonderful!
Miss yves

Inland Empire Girl said...

The bird pictures and just beautiful... this could be another post for solace! I especially love the last one.

Dragonstar said...

This is fascinating. I love that last photo - extraordinary!

Autrice DelDrago said...

I love the pictures!

chanpheng said...

Wonderful pictures! I've always wanted to go to the Galapagos - nearly was there 30 years again when I visited friends in Ecuador. And unfortunately, have never had the chance to go back.

My C contribution is here. Hope you enjoy the pictures of Laos.