Galapagos Islands - mockingbirds and other endemics

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4 years 3 months ago #86389 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Galapagos Islands - mockingbirds and other endemics
First the mockingbirds. There are 4 endemic species, the Galapagos Mockingbird with 6 sub-species occurring on all but 3 of the islands, the Floreana Mockingbird, the Hood (Española) Mockingbird and the San Cristóbal (Chatham) Mockingbird. The last 3 occur only on the islands in their names. I saw all 4 but was unable to photograph the San Cristóbal Mockingbird.

Galapagos Mockingbird

- ssp bauri, Genovesa Island

- ssp parvulus, Santa Cruz Island

Hood Mockingbird - Española Island

The Floreana Mockingbird is Critically Endangered with a total population of only about 150 individuals. Due to predation of the chicks on the main Floreana Island by a feral population of introduced european rats and cats these mockingbirds are now found only on 2 small islets off the main island, approx. 50 on Champion-by-Floreana and the remainder on Gardner-by-Floreana. We anchored off Champion - something which our onboard Parks ranger had to get special permission for - and did the 2 km circuit around the islet in an inflatable dinghy. We were beginning to think that the Floreana Mockingbird was a mythical creature when having arrived back where we started 3 mockingbirds appeared - a rare privilege indeed to have seen one of the world's rarest birds, even if trying to photograph them while bobbing up and down in a dinghy proved quite a mission.

Floreana Mockingbird

To finish off my Galapagos postings, here are the few of the endemic species that didn't naturally fall into any of my previous postings.

Galapagos Hawk - a buteo buzzard

Galapagos Flycatcher

For me the prettiest dove I have ever seen, the Galapagos Dove

The endemic ssp aureola of the Mangrove Warbler - male, female and juvenile

The endemic ssp galapagoensis of the Short-eared Owl

Finally, an introduced cuckoo species that is now flourishing on 4 of the larger islands

Smooth-billed Ani


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