Readers’ wildlife photos

SEND IN YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOS, please? I have a few sets to come up, but the tank is getting low. Thanks!

We have some nice shots of Galápagos today from reader/biologist Joe Dickinson. His caption are indented.

Here are some of the iconic giant tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra), Santa Cruz Island.

Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis, introduced I presume) commonly follow large herbivores to snag insects they disturb.  This is one patient egret.

This is a yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia) down on a beach.

Can you find the warbler in this shot?

Here are three Galápagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) two looking very contented and one demonstrating flexibility.

A lava heron (Butorides sundevalli).

The Galápagos dove (Zenaida galapagoensis) is very striking, particularly the blue eye.

I like this great blue heron (Ardea herodias) with a desert island background.

Proving I was there (a a little younger), at one of the most famous viewpoints in the islands, on top of Bartolomé.

This is the view I was blocking.  It dramatically displays the volcanic nature of these islands.



  1. Christopher
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Turtles and tortoises captured my 4-year old imagination with my first contact; being bitten on the thumb by an ornate box turtle. It has been a life long dream to visit the Galápagos Islands or Aldabran atoll but who knows if I’ll ever be able to scrape up enough nickels to make either trek. Probably not. Thanks for sharing these, especially the photo of those invasive species surrounding the yellow warbler. It must have been delightful to see. Cheers!

    • rickflick
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      If you go to the Galapagos via an all expense payed tour it will cost a lot. But, if you take the time to research prices and do your own planing you can probably do it for $2000. Use local guides and cheap airlines. A friend flies regularly to Ecuador on Spirit Airlines. You can do it!

      • Christopher
        Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        That would still be a month’s wages for me, and as I have enough trouble making ends meet, I’m not getting my hopes up. Unless by some bizarre turn of events I land a decent paying job… but yes, I would take your suggestions for the travel, as I can’t stand the idea of joining one of those travel groups anyway.

        • Posted March 30, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Well, what kind of job are you qualified for, Christopher and what area do you live in or would move to? Perhaps one or more of our kind fellow readers might have a lead for you? Best of luck.

          • Christopher
            Posted March 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            That’s a great question! I have no idea! I have a B.S. in history so I think that means not a whole lot. Lucky for me I now live in a rural area which while it may lack higher paying jobs is at least a place where the cost of living is sorta low, and I’ve got a small shack and land to putter around on, and that includes my own wild, free range box turtle who just came out of hibernation today. So, poor, unable to travel, and with little hope for improvement financially but I’m mostly ok. Cheers!

            • Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

              I hope you get some good responses about this. All the best, Christopher.

  2. Debbie Coplan
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    very exciting to see the photos of such diverse critters-
    The coloration on the Galapagos Dove is just gorgeous.
    I’m hoping to go at some point but am running out of years here!
    I so appreciate being able to see it through these wonderful photos.
    Thanks so much!

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    For a comparison with how travel to the Galapagos was done in 1929, I just finished and recommend Forestry Service Chief and Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pincot’s To the South Seas, which is even out in audiobook form, preview here. Step one: buy a 148ft schooner/yacht.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I am so deeply envious! But that is a good thing. I did not know about the Galapagos dove. The linked article describes how they have adapted to humans by being more fearful of them because of our history of hunting them.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Lava Heron may be the coolest animal name ever.

  6. Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Beautiful, thanks Joe! These islands are on my “bucket list”.

  7. Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Joe, it’s you! Thanks for sharing your wonderful work.

  8. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    My envy button gets pushed whenever I see pics of Galàpagos! Thanks for sharing. Most enjoyable.

  9. LB
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I would love to send in some photos that were taken by a friend, but I don’t know where to send them. Is that information posted somewhere? Thank you!

    • Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Click on “Research Interests” top left, and you’ll get his email address in the sub heading.

      • LB
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Thank you!

  10. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I do not know for sure how Cattle Egrets arrived on the Galapagos Islands but it is not at all certain that they were introduced and, indeed, I suspect they were not. This species originated in tropical Africa and Asia but underwent a huge and rapid worldwide range expansion during the twentieth century, as a result of which it has become well established on every continent except Antarctica. This range expansion occurred as a result of the birds’ own dispersal behaviour and not as a result of human agency (although of course once they arrived in many of the places they reached they found human cattle and sheep ranching practices provided eminently suitable conditions for them to thrive). I believe that the species first arrived in Galapagos in the mid 1960s.

  11. Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures.

  12. Mark Joseph
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures!

  13. Chris Schulte
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Great pics, Joe! My wife and I went to Galapagos last December and I hope to send in some photos in the near future. I was surprised that it was much more ecologically diverse than I expected.

  14. Diane G.
    Posted April 3, 2018 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures of a wonderful place! Thanks, Joe!

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