October 23, 2013

Waved Albatross!

Albatross! These are all Waved Albatross that live only in the tropics of Peru and Ecuador.  We saw these in the Galapagos on Espanola Island.  They are medium sized albatrosses.  To me they seemed pretty big. They can glide for hours without flapping their wings as the one below is showing.
They greet their partners and other albatross by clattering their beaks against the others. They can also live up to 45 and maybe even 50 years.  Courtship is intricate which much bowing, beak clattering and oo-oo calls. I find Albatross humeri very interesting because in length and vague overall look they resemble a human humerus.
There were many half grown chicks going into their adult feathers.  The one below looks quite mangy as he still has lots of chick down but you can see on the back and wings the adult feathers coming through. The parents regurgitate over 4 pounds of fish oil a day to feed the young.

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