Monday, October 25, 2010

Some Birds Can Fly and Some Can't

As you might have guessed from my last post, it was a Hawk!  It was a Galapagos Hawk to be exact!  This species of Hawk is also endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

Mom was not able to get a picture of his mama, who flew away as mom walked nearby.  The mama Galapagos Hawk was teaching this fledgling Hawk how to fly!  He fluttered on the ground a lot, having trouble getting into the air.

Finally, he was able to fly himself up onto a tree limb from the ground.  He was not so sure on his feet yet, or with his wings, for that matter.
My, those are very big claws he has!

Then he turned to my mom and said:  "Are you JB's mom?  You aren't making fun of me for not knowing how to fly, are you?"
Immediately mom told him no, that he looked very graceful, as she did not want to get anywhere near those big claws!

Then it was time for mom to leave this island so she could travel to the next interesting island.

She said good-bye to a couple of my new friends before getting back on the ship.

 And she caught a glimpse of a Striated or Lava Heron too.

Mom got back to the Expedition ship and found lots of Magnificent FrigateBird birdie butts all in a row.  
Mom hollered at them:  "What are all of you guys doing up there?"

And the Magnificent FrigateBirds said:  "We are ready to show you the way to the next island to meet the rest of our FrigateBird families and friends, and the Boobies!"

 JB:  Oh mom, I have been waiting and waiting to hear about your report on Boobies!  I am super excited!

Before you go, please sign my GUESTBOOK here, and stop by JB's SMALL WORLD too, thanks! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Red Sand, Sea Creatures and Birdies!

 Mom's next stop on her Galapagos Islands Big World Expedition was at Rabida Island.
Hey, mom!  The sand is Red here!
Mom was greeted by 4 of my new Galapagos Sea Lion friends.  They asked mom to forgive them for not waking up for her!

 Some interesting sea stars were found on the beach, like this Orange Sea Star. 

 And look how big this Blue Sea Star was! 
(that's not my mom's foot, by the way!)

 Sea Stars have a lot of tentacles on the under side of their body.  
Mom's naturalist quickly put both of these sea stars back into the sea so they would not die.

 After that mom went hiking to look for birdies for me, as she knows that birdies are just my absolute favorite friends.

 Look who she found!  It is a Vermilion Flycatcher!  These are very rare to see at the Galapagos Islands, and much more common on mainland Ecuador.  This birdie is a male.  Mom used her pawpawrazzi skills to creep up after him, but this was the best shot she could get of this elusive birdie.

 Mom found out that the male was very busy courting this female Vermilion Flycatcher, and interestingly enough, the female is not vermilion in color at all, but light yellow!

 There were lots of Galapagos Mockingbirds on this island, and one who looked like he was in charge, told mom:  "All of us birdies are so excited to be JB's friends!"

JB:  Wow, mom, these are some great new birdie friends! 
Mom:  JB, just wait till you see the next birdie friend I found for you on this island!

~~To be Continued~~

Before you go, please sign my GUESTBOOK here, and stop by JB's SMALL WORLD too, thanks! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Water Dragons Galore!

 Wowza, YOWZA!  Those are some scary looking Water Dragons!  
I did some research and found out that these are actually swimming Marine Iguanas.  They have adapted to the Galapagos Islands and are endemic also, and found nowhere else in the world! 

 There were piles and piles of them everywhere. 

 Many were warming their body temperatures on the rocks in the late afternoon sunshine.

 Mom did a great job reporting and was careful not to step on any of my new friends!  This was difficult as their coloring camouflaged them very well.

The Marine Iguana has the unique ability among modern day Lizards to be able to live in the sea and also feed from the sea. 

They like to eat lots of green algae.  
Did you know, they can dive over 30 feet down into the water!

I was astonished at how many new Marine Iguana friends mom found for me.  
Then it was time for mom to hike back to the Expedition Ship to continue her journey.

 Along the way back, a Galapagos Hermit Crab popped his head out of his shell, and pleaded to be my friend too!  He told mom that his particular species is also endemic only to the Galapagos Islands!

Lo and behold, when mom's group got back to the beach to pick up some of their gear before boarding the Ship, look what they found!

What a great report, mom!

Before you go, please sign my GUESTBOOK here, and stop by JB's SMALL WORLD too, thanks!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Next Island, Black Sand and Lots of Ruckus!

The next stop of mom's Big World Expedition took her to Puerto Egas (Santiago (James) Island).  

 A very handsome Brown Pelican was waiting to greet mom to his island.
Welcome, JB's mom!  We are glad to make your acquaintance.  Tell JB, we are all excited to be her friends!

 At first, the island appeared calm to mom, and sure enough, the sand was black here!  Galapagos Sea Lions were sacked out everywhere having a siesta.

 But then, one of the Sea Lions started causing a real ruckus on the beach, and was kicking up sand everywhere!  Mom had to quickly run out of his way.
Good reporting, mom!  You were right in the middle of the action!

Once the excitement ended, mom made a discovery, that Sea Lions have toenails just like me! 
After some time on this black sand beach, mom went on a hike to the other side of the island.

Again, the island seemed very calm.  Mom spotted a Galapagos Dove, which is also endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and not found anywhere else in the world.  

 There was a family of Smooth-Billed Ani's in one of the trees.   
Yes, everything seemed very calm.....

 Then mom got just a little bit scared.  
She was suddenly surrounded by lots and LOTS of Water Dragons!

~~To Be Continued~~

Before you go, please sign my GUESTBOOK here, and stop by JB's SMALL WORLD too, thanks!