Readers’ wildlife photos

January 27, 2023 • 8:15 am

Reader Chris Schulte sent some photos from a trip to the Galápagos archipelago. (I was supposed to be there in about a week, but since the trip was combined with a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru, and there are riots and unrest in that country, they canceled the whole deal. But I’ll be lecturing instead on a trip to the islands in August, and it will not be canceled because the Galápagos are part of Ecuador, not Peru).

Chris’s captions are indented, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

My wife and I went to the Galápagos a few years ago and I’ve been meaning to send these to you for a while. I don’t know if everything is identified correctly, but perhaps someone who knows better can correct me.

Galápagos Tortoise – (Chelonoidis niger) at El Chato 2 ranch:

Lava Lizard, Microlophus spp.:

Large Ground FinchGeospiza magnirostris:

Woodpecker FinchCamarhynchus pallidus:

Marine IguanaAmblyrhynchus cristatus:
I’m not sure if this is a Striated Heron, Butorides striatus, or Galápagos Heron (also “Lava heron”), Butorides sundevali, at the fish market:

Galapagos Sea LionZolophus wolleboeki:

Galapágos MockingbirdNesomimus parvulus:

A Yellow warblerDendroica petechia, letting me get really close:

White-cheeked PintailAnas bahamensis:

We were able to go snorkeling at Kicker Rock. I think someone said that it was 800 ft. deep between the two islets. Of course that is where you splash in

The first thing I saw was… unexpected:

I saw something out of the corner of my eye and was able to take a quick snap of it:
And a couple of Nazca boobiesSula granti, on the rocks above:

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. In 1929, before there were organized tours there, former (and then subsequent) PA Gov Gifford Pinchot (TR’s first Chief of the Forest Service) went to the Galapagos via the expedient of buying a schooner. His charmingly-written account of that trek, To the South Seas, was recently made into an audiobook. Here’s the trailer.

  2. What a delightful selection! Thank you. Although it also makes me a bit sad. I’ve wanted to visit every since I was a little kid and heard about the tortoises. I worry the trip will always be beyond my financial abilities but I live in hopes that some day I can manage it. In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through photos like these.

  3. Very nice, we were there in July, and your pictures bring back some pleasant recent memories, notably the underwater encounter with sea lions. I’d love to go back to see some different islands and perhaps at a different time of year to see how things change as the ocean currents vary.

  4. Wow, I don’t think you missed any wildlife highlights. I’ve seen many photos of Galapagos tortoises, and wonder if I’ve ever seen the same one twice. Thanks for this exciting set photos.

  5. Great photos, brings back memories of my visit in 2009. I remember the yellow warblers at breakfast acting like house sparrows do elsewhere.
    And what I saw in my first few seconds underwater at Kicker Rock was a huge hammerhead shark disappearing leisurely into the depths below.
    Thanks for sending/posting!

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