Like other birds, penguins undergo “molting,” where they shed their feathers, though penguins tend to lose them all at once, or in large patches, resulting in a rather scruffy appearance like this guy.
Galápagos penguins molt once or twice a year, and it takes a couple of weeks on average each time. During the molt they avoid going in the water since they don’t have their nice waterproof feathers for warmth and protection.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition
We had just boarded the Coral I to begin our tour of the Galápagos and I was interested in getting a shot of the view from the ship’s windows as we pulled away from Baltra. Traveling around by boat was actually pretty fun!
Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio
This flightless cormorant is bringing home a treat for his mate; the seaweed is not food, but material for the nest she’s making. As their name implies, these cormorants can’t fly and have rather stumpy little vestigial wings.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat
This blue-footed booby parent is taking very careful care of its eggs. They will be incubated for around 41-45 days before hatching. Both parents take turns incubating, and I can’t tell whether this is mom or dad because I can’t see the eye pupils well enough (pupil size is the best visual indicator of booby sex).
This bird species almost always lays two eggs. If conditions are good, both will grow up well. But if resources are scarce, the older chick may harass or even kill the younger one to get rid of the competition.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful
The mangrove is one of the more mundane species seen in the Galápagos; they are ubiquitous and not even endemic to the islands. But they are a critical part of the islands’ biome, and there’s also just something pretty about the sunlight on the leaves.
Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary