Sharing moments in time…

Albatross!


Not a line from the old Monty Python skit – a real Albatross as in Galapagos or Waved Albatross.  This is the largest bird in the Galapagos with a wingspan of up to 8 ft.  They are incredible flyers and can stay aloft for amazingly long periods – often without even flapping their wings.  They routinely fly up to 100km from their nests just to gather food for their young.  They are so proficient they can even fly while sleeping – much like several airline pilots in the news lately.

Albatross with another following in "trail formation"

They go to Galapagos island of Espanola to mate (which they do for life) and then rear their young.  They are normally found on the cliff end of the island so they can launch themselves off the cliffs to begin their flights – It is hard for them to flap their large wings fast enough to fly without this gravity assist.  One of the other notable behaviours of  these majestic birds is their  mating ritual itself.  The mating pair approach each other, sort of shake their beaks back and forth until they actually “clack” their bills together.  They then open their jaws wide and throw their heads back in unison.  Then repeat as necessary….  As with most other Galapagos species these birds do not appear to be disturbed by the presence of tourists even during their courting.

Mating ritual about to consumated?

4 responses

  1. Rooster

    I mated like that once.
    R

    July 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  2. in a universe far, far away…..

    July 12, 2011 at 6:56 am

  3. We did this trip last December and saw 2 mating pairs doing the ritual. It started out as one pair and then another female joined them. Her partner didn’t seem to like being left out and within a minute or two he joined in for a little four way. I posted a photo of them on 6-28-11 at my blog at politonomicsandtravel.wordpress.com

    July 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    • I visited your site – nice photos of the Albatrossessessesssess. Took a look through many of your other travel pics – we appear to have some travel destinations in common.

      July 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

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