The Frigates with their big red pouch

Monday, January 02, 2012
North Seymour, Galápagos, Ecuador
The anchor was dropped here at North Seymour at 6.20 am but I was awake anyway after a 7 hour cruise from San Cristobal Island.

Just before we boarded the zodiac for our 2 hour land walk, a white tipped shark circled the boat. A omen for what laid ahead.

Sea lions again greeted us on the rocky dry landing spot.

More pups were waiting to be fed by their mum.

The trees are not dead but for 8 months of the year have dropped their leaves. This is how they survive. For the 4 months when they do have leaves in the wet season, they attract mosquitoes but not the variety that carries malaria.

Today was not about sea lions or marine iguanas or blue foot boobies or Darwin finches or yellow warblers or even pelicans and endemic plants but the big soaring frigates above us and hopefully I will see a male bird with it’s big red sack fully puffed out attracting the females.

Now here is today’s useless information:
- Small flat islands carry small animals and low vegetation.
- Endemic plants are those only found in these islands.

Oceanic plants are carried here by the currents.

Then there are the introduced plants by us humans.

Blue Footed Bobbies

Male honk while females give out a whistle type of sound.

They are juvenile for 3 years.

99% of birds are monochromatic - see black and white only. Blue footed boobie can see blue as well. Red footed boobies can see red but not blue. They is how they can tell the difference between themselves and no inter-breeding.

Their eyes are on the side of their head and drinking and feeding is why they move their heads from side to side. They have a narrow vision as they focus on the side not the front.

Swallow Tail Gull

These are the nocturnal birds with the red ring around their eyes. Red feet and 3 white phosphorous dots on their tail plus a white phosphorous band around their beck.

They mate for life. If one dies, then the other one will die shortly. Females lay 1 egg a year. Females and males share the egg sitting duties and can tell each other by the smell.

Frigate Birds

A fluffy white baby is 6 months old before becoming a juvenile.

A juvenile has a white head and is like this for 3 ½ years.

They survive by stealing the food that the boobies fish for their youngster. This is depicted in one photo sequence where you can see the frigate trying to steal the food that the adult is feeding its juvenile. Frigates also steal young boobie chicks, fly up in the air. then drop them swoop down and …. They also eat the sea lion placenta.
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