Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some photos from the Galápagos, taken by reader Karen Bartelt (see her earlier photos of giant tortoises).

Some miscellaneous photos from the Galapagos

First three are Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus).  Pic 1 molting, pic 2 reproducing, pic 3 hanging out – all shot on Fernandina:
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Red billed tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) nesting and flying – Genovesa:
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Galapagos short-eared owl (Aseo flammeaus galapagoensis) – Genovesa.  It was first hiding in a rock outcropping, but later came out into the sun.

IMHO, Genovesa is the best island for wildlife!

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JAC: This owl is an endemic, and as the Galapagos Conservation Trust notes:
The Galapagos short-eared owl has developed a unique hunting behaviour on Genovesa island, at a colony of storm petrels. The petrels nest deep in tunnels in the lava rock, usually out of reach of the owls. However the owls have learnt to stalk nearby, watching the petrels as they enter and leave the tunnels. The owls then wait close by for the petrel to leave the tunnel and catch them unawares. Another technique they use is to hide in the entrance of the tunnel to grab a petrel as it flies in.
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19 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Grandeur in this view of life!

  2. Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Nice photos!

    Looks like you are using a mirror telephoto lens for some of the shots. Which one?

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      No fancy lenses here. These were all taken with a Lumix.

      • Posted December 7, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Which model Lumix?*

        You are getting the “donut” bokeh spots in the second owl shot, which generally denotes a mirror lens. Interesting.

        (* I have a Lumix LX5 compact plus an array of Lumix lenses for my Olympus micro 4/3 cameras. I love the Lumix/Leica stuff.)

        • Karen Bartelt
          Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          DMC FZ200. The lens is a Leica; can really bring in a lot of light.

  3. HaggisForBrains
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    sub

  4. geckzilla
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, crabs do it missionary style? I had no idea. Not a whole lot of animals do it like that, do they? I had to look up other crustaceans. Lobsters too! How many others?

    • GBJames
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Nearly all of the Mormons, I hear.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Yes, I was shocked as well.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The decapod crustaceans do this as a rule. I used to do research with crayfish, and it was pretty amusing to catch them at it.
      Also orangutans.
      And I think cetaceans, at times.

      Anyone one else know of others? This is purely for ‘research’ purposes…

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        In the crayfishes, the females would semi-annually become receptive to mating, and if you pick them up they would stretch out their legs and ‘happily’ lay in your hand on their backs.
        ok, I will stop commenting to myself now. Its just that I have a lot of fond memories associated with crustacean sex…

        • rickflick
          Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          Pictures? 😉

          • Mark Sturtevant
            Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            SFW: YBoomChuckaWaWaaa.

            • rickflick
              Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

              Wow! There’s got to be a CritterPornHub for that stuff. 😉

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Beautiful crabs. The ‘molting’ one may be just blowing bubbles out of their gill chambers under the carapace, unless I am misunderstanding it.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      The guides said it was molting; that’s all I have to go on.

  6. rickflick
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I wonder why the crabs aren’t dull and dark as the rocks. They stand out like a hand of very sore thumbs. They seem to be begging for some bird of prey to have them for lunch.

    • Posted December 7, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, very interesting that!

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      The juveniles are quite black. As they mature, they develop those glorious colors.


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