Galapagos Adventure, June 2001

Thursday, June 7, Genovesa (Darwin Bay)
AM: Prince Phillips Steps, birds, birds, birds
PM: Darwin Bay Beach, birds, birds, birds


We anchored in Darwin Bay on Genovesa Is. (where, incidentally, Darwin never came!) This place was BIRDCITY! It was a nesting place for three varieties of Boobies (Red-footec, Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies. (Nazca is the techtonic plate that the Galapagos is on.) Great Firgates. Tropic Birds. Gulls. Everywhere!

   This is a nesting Booby. They simply make their nests on the ground, lay eggs and hatch their young.That works because there are no natural enemies. Note how they avoid fouling their nests - they project guano!
   This is a young Booby. It has to get used to catching fish and juggling them so it can swallow them headfirst, so it practices with rocks.
   Here's Karen approaching a young Nazca Booby with a stick. They love to play with sticks so they will let you approach them closely.
   This is a very unusual bird - a Vampire Finch. It must have started picking parasites off the feet of a Booby, but the sharp beak drew blood, for which it developed a taste. Now they drink the blood and the Boobies don't seem to mind!
   The Galapagos is full of birds that act a bit strange. This is a Red-Footed Booby. It has webbed feet like a duck, but lives in trees. It cannot hold onto the branch, so it just balances there...
   Perhaps the second best-known animal in the Islands is the Great Frigate. To attract females, the male inflates a large red pouch under its chin. Certainly makes them hard to miss!
   Here's both a male and female, so you can see the differences.
   No visit to the Galapagos would be complete without pictures of two Swallowtail Gulls mating. The female still looks skeptical. The male hops on top.
   And does his thing.
   A couple of times, in fact, before its over in a minute.

Friday, June 8

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