The magnificent frigatebird soars above the waters of the Galapagos, terrifying fish everywhere it goes, stopping just long enough to puff out its chest to impress the opposite sex.
The frigatebird is notable for its tremendous size, ability to fly day and night for hundreds of miles at a time, the males' bright red throat sack that fills with air during mating season, and propensity for terrorizing other sea birds by attacking them and forcing them to drop their catch. These aerial pirates are spread throughout the Galapagos Islands, but their most impressive breeding site may be North Seymour Island, where they nest in low shrubland near the coast.
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Sundown with the Boobies
The blue-footed boobie is an enduring icon of the Galapagos Islands, and one of my favorite animals, right up there with the yak and the camel. I mean, it's feet are blue; that's brilliant stuff.
Nearly half of the world's breeding pairs of boobies nest on the Galapagos Islands, many on and around tiny North Seymour Island, one of greatest places on earth to catch a big, bold sunset.
There's a good chance your second point of contact with the Galapagos (after landing at one of the airports) will be North Seymour Island, a playground for many different species of bird.
This was one of my favorite stops, and this was the very first photo I took on my trip. I never really considered the piggyback as an efficient means of transportation, but now I know.
The island experience in the Galapagos is unlike what most people are used to, especially if they frequent destinations in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. Yes, the beaches are stunning, and the setting is serene. You just want to be careful where you place your beach blanket, especially if the Beachmaster is around. You'll probably want to be wary of marine iguanas, crabs, and boobies, too.
Don't forget to pack your camera, and keep it handy everywhere you go. North Seymour is a tiny island, but it's one of the most scenic.