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Galapagos Islands

A visit to the Galapagos Islands is an amazing experience. Here are a few pictures from our recent trip. Some of the wildlife on the Galapagos are found nowhere else in the world, and vary even from island to island within the Galapagos area. For instance one type of iguana are found on one island, and not on others. The huge tortoise that has been found to live over 100 years, are found on one island and not on others.

The Galápagos Islands

a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, is a province of Ecuador, lying about 1,000km off its coast, and considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species later inspired his theory of evolution.

The Finches : Darwin’s finches

Darwin’s finches
Bird
Darwin’s finches are a group of about fifteen species of passerine birds. They are often classified as the subfamily Geospizinae or tribe Geospizini. They belong to the tanager family and are not closely related to the true finches. Wikipedia

Kicker Rock (a.k.a. Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that juts up nearly 500 feet from the sea.
The view from the summit of Bartolome Island
Area: 17,375 mi²
Population: 25,000 (2010)
Capital: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Geologic History

Galapagos is located on the Nazca tectonic plate. This perpetually moving plate is heading eastward over the Galapagos hot spot and has formed the chain of islands. The islands were formed through the layering and lifting of repeated volcanic action. This geographic movement is correlated to the age of the islands, as the eastern islands (San Cristóbal and Española) are millions of years older than the western islands (Isabela and Fernandina).

Most of the islands have a distinctive conical shape that is often associated with volcanic action. The mountainous islands have been formed through continuing eruption, building layer upon layer. Due to this volcanic formation, the islands are characterized by many steep slopes, with heights ranging from a few meters above sea level to more than 5000 feet above sea level.

Each major island, with the exception of the largest island, Isabela, consists of a single large volcano. Isabela was formed when six volcanoes joined above sea level. Geologically, the Galapagos Islands are quite young, probably no more than five million years old. Some of the westernmost islands, which are the most volcanically active, may only be hundreds of thousands of years old and are still being formed today.

www.galapagos.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galápagos_Islands

Geologic History

Blue-Footed Boobies

Blue Footed Boobie and a chick

Frigate male

Frigate Male with inflated Gular

Male Frigate with mate

Male Frigate with mate

Galapagos Penguins see on Galapagos

Galapagos-Penguins


Land Iguana seen on a Galapagos IslandYellow Galapagos bird on a Galapagos Island
Male Frigate with mate seen on a Galapagos Island

Male Frigate with mate

Nasca Boobies seen on a Galapagos Island

Nasca Boobies

Sally Lightfoot Galapagos Island

Sally Lightfoot

Sea Lion babies seen on a galapagos Island

Sea-Lion-babies

Blue-Footed Boobies on a Galapagos Island

Blue Footed Boobie and a chick

Land Iguana on  a Galapagos Island

Land-Iguana[/caption

]view on San Cristóbal Island a Galapagos Island

[caption id="attachment_4671" align="alignright" width="300"]Baby-Nasca-Boobie Baby-Nasca-Boobie

Blue Footed Boobie

Blue-Footed Boobie head

male-Frigate bird

Frigate-Wings-up

Frigate-Wings-up

Frigate-Wings-wide

Frigate-Wings-wide

Young-Frigate-bird

Young-Frigate-bird-trying-his-wings

Sea-Lion-baby

Sea-Lion-baby

Sea Lion babies

Sea-Lion-babies

Galapagos Sea iguna

Sea iguana on sand

Galapagos lava lizard

Red Faced lizard

Glalapagos Mocking bird

Mocking bird

Glalpagos Sea iguana

Sea iguana with a Blue back

Galapagos Lizard

Galapagos Lizard

Galapagos Sea Iguana

Sea Iguana

Pelican of Galagagos

Pelican of Galagagos

Galapagos Islands

Turtle

Turtle

Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia

Kukaburro

Kookaburro

Please enjoy viewing Kookaburras, Tawney frog mouth, black and white pelicans, pink Galahs, cockatoos (as pests) lorikeets, white ibis, penguins,and other interesting birds. The fairy Penguins are also called Blue Penguins, and they actually have a blue look to their fur. They are the smallest penguins in the World. The Kookaburras were very exciting for me to see and hear. I heard them first, and actually recognized the “laugh”,then later saw several pairs flying around quite close to where we were in Yanchep National Park. The pink Galahs were also a delight to see, but we did get a bit tired of them as they are very noisy. I had never seen nor heard of a bird called the tawney frogmouth, so another new Australian experience. It is often mistakenly thought to be a type of owl and is found throughout Australia mainland and Tasmania. Luckily we did not meet any cassowaries in the wild, but as we walked through the rainforest we kept a look out!

4 Galahs

Flying galah

Australian Wood Ducks

Banded Lapwing

Blue winged Kookaburra

Giant Penguin

Zebra finch

Zebra finch at Uluru

 

Orange-beak

Sea-Gull

Olive-Backed-Sunbirds

2-Fairy-Penguins

Myna-bird

Water buffalo and Australian duck

Australian Hawk

Cockatoo posing

Cockatoo posing

Lorikeet

Lorikeet

Cockatoos eating off picnic Table

Cockatoos eating off picnic Table

Emu in the Wild

Black & White Pelican

Black & White Pelican

White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

Cockatoo

Cockatoo

Flying Cockatoo

Flying Cockatoo

Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis

Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth

Whistler Ducks

Whistler Ducks

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowary

Cassaway

Chukar

A native of southern Eurasia, the Chukar was introduced into the United States from Pakistan to be a game bird. It lives in arid, rocky terrain across the western United States and southern Canada.
This beautiful bird is in the pheasant family Phasianidae.
It has been considered to form a superspecies complex along with the rock partridge, Philby’s partridge and Przevalski’s partridge and treated in the past as conspecific particularly with the first. This partridge has well marked black and white bars on the flanks and a black band running from the forehead across the eye and running down the head to form a necklace that encloses a white throat. The species has been introduced into many other places and feral populations have established themselves in parts of North America and New Zealand.
The one seen in Los Alamos New Mexico is thought to have been released into the State from a breeding farm.

Chukar

Chukar-walking

Chukar-tilted-head

Chukar showing ear flap

Chukar
Chukar

Chukar2

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chukar/id

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chukar_partridge

Orchids at Pacific Orchid Exposition

Orchids from Near and Far
{Click on the underlined Show Picture List to enlarge the photos}

Just a few of the Orchids on Display at the Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco March 2015. The theme of this year’s Exposition was “The Thrill of Discovery”, and it was the San Francisco Society’s 63 Annual Exposition! Vendors were from many countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, etc. There were many miniature orchids for sale, and some that had a good scent. The last Orchid Exposition I attended had far fewer miniature as well as scented orchids. A beautiful display and a wonderful place to visit.
The Orchid Exposition is an Annual event maybe I’ll see you there sometime!

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The red stripe orchid was photographed in an Orchid Farm in Costa Rica.

Komodo Island Gallery

Komodo Island Gallery
A visit to the Komodo Island is a chance to see the largest of the monitor lizards, or called Komodo Dragons. Deer are on the island, as well as interesting birds wild orchids and giant spiders. There are many beaches one with pick sand! snorkeling or scuba diving one can see numerous beautiful fish, clams, corals and turtles. A recent article in Sport Diver April 2015 Entitled “Komodo-An Underwater Amazon” highlights many of the underwater treasures. sportdiver.com
The people who live on the island are very friendly and many are tasked as guides as we walk around the island so we are in no danger from the Dragons.

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Dragon toenails

Dragon walking

A Dragon walking near the entrance to the Park

Komodo dragons

Komodo dragons

Look at the long Tail

Komodo dragons

Komodo dragons smell with their tougues

Komodo dragon

Komodo dragon

A Komodo Dragon alert and looking around

Komodo Dragon Range
Fast Facts

Type:
Reptile
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
30 years+
Size:
10 ft (3 m)
Weight:
330 lbs (150 kg)
Protection status:
Endangered
Did you know?
Komodo dragons can run up to 11 mph (18 kph) in short bursts.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:

Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years, although amazingly, their existence was unknown to humans until about 100 years ago.

Reaching 10 feet (3 meters) in length and more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms), Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.

As the dominant predators on the handful of islands they inhabit, they will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans. When hunting, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience, lying in wait for passing prey. When a victim ambles by, the dragon springs, using its powerful legs, sharp claws and serrated, shark-like teeth to eviscerate its prey.

Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly. Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning. Dragons calmly follow an escapee for miles as the bacteria takes effect, using their keen sense of smell to hone in on the corpse. A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.

There is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores. However, a dearth of egg-laying females, poaching, human encroachment, and natural disasters has driven the species to endangered status.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/komodo-dragon/

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