a teatray in the sky

Ecuador day 9: North Seymour

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Ecuador, Galapagos, Photography by firthefirst on September 20, 2011

this was our last day in the Galapagos Islands and I was a little concerned that we hadn’t yet gotten the chance to see the iconic blue-footed boobies.  well, as with pretty much everything on this trip, I needn’t have worried.  our last stop was at North Seymour Island, a place whose trees and soil happen to be extremely enticing to both frigatebirds and boobies for use as nesting sites.

frigatebirds are known as the pirates of the air, because they have a tendency to steal food (or steal the young to eat as food) from boobies and other seafaring birds.  oddly enough, there seems to be no real animosity between the species despite this overt criminal activity, and the two species nest side-by-side on North Seymour.

while we were on the island, we saw lots of mating and dating.  frigatebirds have evolved these ludicrous red sacs on their front chest that they puff up and keep puffed for 6 to 7 hours at a time, and click their beaks rapidly.  oddly enough, they haven’t evolved the oily layer on their wings that would permit them to fly with wet feathers.  between getting action and being practical, you can see where male priorities lie.

the boobies are adorable in their mating habits, preening and pruning and performing little goofy dances to attract a partner.  the way they strut about is equal parts comical and endearing.

there were also plenty of other species running about, and I finally got a good shot of a female lava lizard before we finished the hike.

having to leave was tough.  I didn’t take any parting shots of the Galapagos because it seemed far too anticlimactic.  I’d have to say it was one of (if not the best) vacations I’ve ever had the opportunity to take … but then again, that’s what you expect for a honeymoon, right?  I’d love it if everyone I knew had the opportunity to visit the Galapagos someday, there really is no place on earth quite like it.  I also hope that Ecuador continues to maintain this stunning ecosystem and win the war against invasive species and human interference; something that continued tourism both helps and hinders.

6 Responses

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  1. Tina said, on September 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    just noticed the claws on the frigate birds for the first time. CRAZY! so many fav animals from this trip. really? day 9 and no more?

    i agree. one of the best vacations ever. 🙂

  2. astrawally said, on September 21, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Beautiful images and excellent captures! Fantastic

  3. f-stop mama said, on September 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Excellent photos! Being the science geek that I am, I have always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands and your words and photos make me want to go more.

  4. mid-week lull « a teatray in the sky said, on October 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    […] so here’s another boobie photo from Galapagos.  I felt like the other boobie shots from the Day 9 post were a little over-saturated, especially in the yellow range, so I toned it down a bit for […]

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