These are some of the birds you might encounter on a voyage around the Galapagos Islands.
Blue Footed Boobies
The most entertaining species of the Galapagos Islands is the Blue Footed Booby - what a ridiculous outfit and expression! Their name is in fact taken from the Spanish 'bobo' which means clown.
The Blue Footed Boobies above display part of their humorous courtship ritual whereby they raise their feet one at a time and then swivel their heads away from the prospective mate looking to the sky.
Other interesting Booby features are the highly evolved airbag sytems in their skulls which allow them to dive bomb into the sea for fish from great height, and the egg and hatchling nesting boundaries they make which are rings of Boobie poo. They aren't the only Booby on the island - there are also Masked and Red Footed Boobies about.
The Waved Albatross is not endemic to the Galapagos Islands, but this is an ideal place to see this magnificent bird - in both size and ability to soar across vast distances.
There is a large colony at Isla Espanola of over ten thousand, at a Punta Suarez site where visitors are allowed, and also at Punta Cevallos. From the Punta Suarez colony they can launch themselves into flight from the nearby cliffs with massive wing spans of up to eight foot.
See them in late March to early December, otherwise they like to cruise in the winds of the Pacific Ocean on extended fishing trips.
If you are lucky you may see a courtship ritual in March or April which can involve a great deal of dancing about, slapping of bills, a fair amount of noise and bill fencing.
Frigate Birds are one of the oldest species of bird, with a development ranging back 50 million years. Their lengthy evolution has enabled them to develop superb flying ablilities, including soaring without effort for hours, diving down to snatch fish from near the water surface or a baby bird from a nest, and a casual ease at stealing other bird's catch in mid flight - earning them the nickname 'Man o'War' or 'Pirate Bird'.
Although these birds fly for hours over water thanks to a huge wingspan of around 2 metres (7.5ft), they never land on it, probably because their feathers have a low oil content and they would never be able to take off.
Galapagos Lava Heron
Endemic to the Galapagos Islands as a sub-species of the Striated Heron, or possibly a species in its own right, the Lava Heron can be found blending in to the basalt background on many of the islands feeding on fish, crabs and lizards.
Flamingos aren't unique to Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, but their tall pink elegance is a welcome sight anywhere. They generally like to teeter around in fairly shallow salty lakes or lagoons in tropical areas. Floreana Island has a lava lagoon called Punta Cormorant which is particularly good for spotting these lanky loonies.
Flamingos love mud. They're born in mud nests, breed in mud and feed on mud...
Unlike most birds which feed using eyesight, flamingos only use the sense of touch. They feed by stirring the mud around with their feet, then sticking their heads under the water, turning their beaks upside down and straining out tiny crustaceans (e.g.shrimps), molluscs (e.g. microscopic snails) and algae (mostly the blue-green stuff). Control of these organisms has a beneficial effect on the environment.
a wondrous bird is the pelican!
Most variations of this 40 million year-old bird fish while swimming, scooping up marine life as they paddle, but the Galapagos Pelicans prefer the dive-bomb, fast-food approach, hitting the water from 20m (60ft) and stunning any fish in the vicinity. These are then scooped, the pouch is emptied of water and the fish swallowed. Thse birds do not store food in their bills.
So that's the end of this Galapagos Photo Gallery. Thanks for coming.