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Michael Hains

Galapagos Birds #8 Piracy returns to Galapagos

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Quote Originally Posted by TheDocAUS View Post
Galapagos Day 6 Nov 2013 - 348_2_2.jpg

Galapagos was once a safe haven for pirates, it seems some never left.

We landed on Sea Lion Island around 4pm, our allotted time slot. Plenty of young sea lions and marine iguanas to photograph as well as some blue footed boobie chicks. The ever present Frigate birds were circulating above.

At about 4.30pm an adult returned blue footed boobie returned to feed its chick. We were photographing the feeding when all hell broke loose, the frigate birds circulating above plunged down to steal the fish, suddenly appearing in our view findings- a tangle of black feathers mugging the chick. A battle took place between the chick and the frigate birds for a few minutes and eventually it swallowed the prize. Round 1 to the boobies.

A few minutes later another adult blue footed boobie returned. This time we knew what was about to happen. An epic battle took place between the boobies and the frigate birds, but the frigates won this time. You can see in the photo that the blue footed boobie parent looks helplessly on. The chick went hungry that night. Boobies 1, Frigate birds 1.

I was going to have this as my last image in the Galapagos series, but you all get an early Christmas present.

I have about 40 shots of the melee but this one shows the moment when the Frigate grabs the fish, shortly after this shot 2 more frigate birds joined the melee, at one point there was just a jumble of feathers. I ahd to flick through several shots to worked out there was 3 frigate birds.

The act of “piracy” was the highlight of the Galapagos trip for me, Merry Christmas everyone.

Camera Model: Canon EOS-1D X
Date/Time: 22 Nov 2013, 4:35pm
Copyright: Michael G Hains
Shutter speed: 1/800 sec
Aperture: 10
Exposure mode: Av
Exposure compensation: -1/3
ISO: 250
Lens: 98 to 280mm, Canon 70-200 with 1.4 converter
Focal length: 280mm
Lat: 0°51'20.804"S
Long: 89°33'57.661"W
Altitude: 8m

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