Great Frigate Bird Looking for a Mate in the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for those who love to take wildlife photos. The birds, mammals, and reptiles are plentiful, and the setting is spectacular. During my week in the Galapagos on the M/V Evolution of Quasar Expeditions, I took about 1,500 digital pictures, with over half of those dedicated to wildlife.
This Galapagos photo gallery shows a little of the well-known diversity, but can't capture the sensation of being so close to these fearless creatures. For example, this great frigate bird can inflate the gular sac in his chest in about 20 minutes to make him more attractive to the females. I guess the human equivalent is showing off a six-pack of abs. We saw hundreds of these frigate birds during our week in the Galapagos and watched them and other wildlife for hours, amazed how readily they shared their special world with us.
More Photos and Information on Galapagos Islands Cruise
- Galapagos Cruise Travel Log - Quasar Expeditions' Evolution
- Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution - Expedition Yacht Profile and Ship Tour
- Photo Gallery of Galapagos Islands Activities from the M/V Evolution of Quasar Expeditions
- Galapagos - Landscapes Photo Gallery
- Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution Photo Gallery
- Things to See and Do with a Day in Guayaquil
- Guayaquil, Ecuador Photo Gallery
This giant tortoise appears to be running, doesn't he? He's on his way to eat lunch!
Giant Tortoise with Long Neck
Giant tortoises have longer necks than expected! This one was on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos.
Giant Tortoise Eating Lunch
Tortoises are reptiles, and this giant tortoise's head has a snake-like appearance when chomping on this vegetation.
The Galapagos have three types of timid snakes. They feed by constricting their prey and can be slightly poisonous to humans. The pattern on this one is slightly different than the snake in the next photo.
The Galapagos have three types of snakes. All are timid and feed by constricting their prey. They can be slightly poisonous to humans.
Sea Lions on Buoy
Sea lions everywhere love to hang out on red buoys. This photo reminds me of one I took in Alaska of some Steller sea lions on a buoy.
Raft of Sea Lions
A group of sea lions is called a raft, and these are packed in so tight, they almost look like a raft!
"Headless" Red-footed Boobies
These two boobies look like they have lost their heads, but it's just the way they are roosting in the tree.
All penguins live in the southern hemisphere, and the Galapagos penguin has the most northerly habitat of all. The cold Humboldt current from Antarctica flows close to the Galapagos, allowing the penguins to live there.
Short-eared Owl Habitat
This gully and cave is the home of a territorial short-eared owl that lives on Genovesa (Tower) Island in the Galapagos. He could barely be seen in the dark cave without binoculars or a telephoto camera lens. Check out the next photo to see the owl.
I thought these boobies were fighting, but our naturalist said it's the mother booby trying to get her one-year-old baby booby to fend for itself. Mothers feed their chicks regurgitated food for about a year after they are hatched, and weaning them often takes "tough love" booby-style.
Nazca Booby on Genovesa
Nazca boobies and Masked boobies are closely related but are separate species.
Don't think I would choose to go swimming here. How about you? These marine iguanas are spooky.
This marine iguana is scary, isn't he? It is easy to see why they were used as monsters in horror movies.
Mess of Marine Iguanas
What do you call a group of iguanas? A mess. Isn't that appropriate, given this photo?
Small Marine Iguana on the Beach
This young marine iguana stands out on the white sandy beach, but I almost missed him when looking at the magnificent landscape view of the Galapagos Islands.
Silhouette of Marine Iguana
This marine iguana looks ferocious as it is silhouetted against the sky while perched on a lava ridge.
The feathers on the back of the male magnificent frigatebirds are more blue than those of the green feathers on the male great frigatebirds. However, I don't think I'm alone in not being able to tell much difference.
Female Magnificent Frigatebird with Blue-Ringed Eyes
This female magnificent frigatebird can be easily differentiated from the female great frigatebird. This magnificent one has blue-ringed eyes, and the great female frigatebird has <a red-ringed eyes.
Female Great Frigatebird with Red-ringed Eyes
Female great frigatebirds have red-ringed eyes and female magnificent frigatebirds have blue-ringed eyes. This is the easiest way to differentiate them.
Male Great Frigatebird with Green Feathers on Back
The iridescent green feathers on the back of this male great frigatebird are one way to differentiate the great frigates from the magnificent frigates.
Female Great Frigatebird - Draining Excess Salt
This female great frigatebird is not asleep or dead; she is excreting excess salt from glands over her eyes. Like other marine birds, frigates drink salt water and have to remove the salt from their systems in this manner.
Male Great Frigatebirds
Oftentimes, a group of male great frigatebirds will perch in the same tree or in the brush, all showing off their distended pouches.
Male Great Frigatebird in Flight
The male great frigatebird is easy to spot if he is flying with his pouch distended.
Fur seals like to lie on the cliff ledges on Genovesa (Tower) Island in the Galapagos.
Two of these blue-footed boobies are male, the other is a female. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the two boys "court" the girl. It was quite a show!
This male blue-footed booby is whistling and flapping his wings to show off for a female.
The feet of some blue-footed boobies are more intensely blue than others. The females seem to prefer the brighter-blue feet.
I felt like this blue-footed booby was staring me down! Those eyes are certainly penetrating.
Great Blue Heron
We have great blue herons at home in Georgia, but the scenery is not nearly as dramatic as the Galapagos Islands.