Galapagos Islands - more seabirds

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3 years 11 months ago #86376 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Galapagos Islands - more seabirds
The second (of 2) endemic gull species in the Galapagos is the Swallow-tailed Gull, which is much more numerous than the Lava Gull with up to 15,000 breeding pairs spread across over 50 nesting colonies.

- adult bird on rocks and in flight





- first year bird on rocks, in flight and begging parents for food







- adult with nestling



The frigatebirds are the vultures and hyenas of the oceans, scavenging where they can, stealing eggs and chicks from other seabird nests and harrying other birds to make them surrender whatever morsels they have. We had a constant escort of frigatebirds for almost the entire trip.

- frigatebird escort on our sister boat the MY Eden



- melee caused by the dumping of kitchen waste from our boat



- male and immature Great Frigatebird with scraps they have picked up





Separating male Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds in flight is not easy unless both are present. Even then only the biggest will be Magnificent while the rest cannot be split conclusively. With females and juveniles it is much easier, but probably only with 90% certainty. Perched birds are even easier (in the right light). With that degree of uncertainty in mind I give my take on the subjects of the following photos.

male Great Frigatebird - note the green sheen on head/mantle feathers



female Great Frigatebird - note the white on the underparts extending onto chin; also has a pink eye-ring





juvenile Great Frigatebird - note the brownish wash on the white parts



male Magnificent Frigatebird - note the purple sheen on mantle feathers





female Magnificent Frigatebird - note the dark 'V' on chest; also has a pale blue eye-ring (look for in perched birds)



juvenile Magnificent Frigatebird - note lack of brownish wash on the white parts (but not all Great juveniles have a brown wash!!)




Neil

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3 years 11 months ago #86377 by John Young
John Young replied the topic: Re: Galapagos Islands - more seabirds
Great pics Neil - looking forward to the next set of postings on your trip.
Dave

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