Sunday, January 02, 2011

Galapagos - Birds

I have a lot of photos from the Galapagos - too many to do in one posting here. So I had to find a way to break them up. Given that Darwin seemed to focus on the finches of the Galapagos as a key part of his theory of evolution, it only seemed fitting I start with bird photos. Though he may have started with finches, they weren't standouts in my mind, so I don't have any finch photos here...

Picture of the blue footed booby, which is endemic to the Galapagos. One of those animals you have to see when you are there. There is also a red-footed booby, but we didn't get to see those.
ps - actually, I think it is spelled "bubi", but that doesn't allow as easily for the corny jokes and t-shirts about booby watching and all.
(click on any picture to see higher resolution version)

Continuing with the booby/bubi pictures - this was a surprise catch for a photo. I just blasted away with the camera (actually, we had 3 cameras with us) and took almost 2000 photos. Sometimes you flash through a photo and don't see something at first. This is one of those - I didn't see the booby diving until I did a second review of the photo. Very streamlined shape that the bird is able to get into.

This was another lucky shot - and with a basic point and shoot camera at that. This is the same booby shown diving, but after he had his meal and was now flying back up to make another dive on some poor unsuspecting bait fish.

Yellow warbler on some volcanic rock at a beach. These guys were all over the place and perhaps take the function of pigeons in our country, as they were always around watching to see if some scrap of food would drop from us humans.

Frigate birds. During breeding, the males have large red pouches that they inflate to attract a mate. But I am not sure they would be trustworthy mates, as they get much of their food by stealing from boobies.

Better check the immigration status of these American Oyster Catchers. They do look a little different than the ones we have in California (I don't think ours have the white chest/undersides, but they do have the bright red beaks). Always loved the name "oyster catcher" - a catcher to me refers to catching something that moves, yet oysters don't move.

Well, this one isn't a bird picture, but is in the sky. This was a shot of our inter-island flight between San Cristobal and Isabela Islands. The airline that runs these flights has 2 planes - a 5 seater and a 7 seater. Our group of 11 required both. And I got to sit in the co-pilot's seat (that guy with the stripes on his shoulder is our pilot).

I wasn't really a good choice for this, as I am a bit large. Whenever the pilot banked the airplane, the yoke (or whatever they call the steering wheel) on my side whacked me in the knee. And he had to push my knee out of the way to adjust the tail flap fine tune adjustment. And if I stretched my legs, I would be pushing on the pedals (which I am sure would not be a good thing to do). So I spent much of the flight trying to stay still.



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