Sep 27, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we visited one of the far northern islands, Genovesa. This island is special, as no terrestrial animals have arrived and established populations here, so this is bird paradise only. Our first outing was to the only beach of this island, called Darwin Bay. As we first landed for a walk around the mangrove area, we were greeted by sea lions at the beach. A newborn pup was lying with its mother, posing for our cameras.
The highlight of the day was the red-footed boobies; however, we were surprised by the swallow-tailed gulls. These marine birds, the only nocturnal ones of their kind, specialize on fishing squid. The group had the opportunity to see how an adult sea gull regurgitated a full squid to feed its chick. The baby bird reacted to the arrival of its parents by pecking on their bills in order to get the food. We saw how the size of the squid was way too large to fit in the baby bird beak, so the adult pulled it away as the chick reaped off some pieces.
It was a very relaxing and entertaining walk on the sandy area, surrounded by nesting red-footed boobies, frigatebirds and gulls. Frigatebirds in the air impressed the group every time they chased a red-footed booby or a tropical bird to steal their fish, with a full display of their expert flying skills.
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