Monday, May 7, 2012

Boobies Galore!

This post today will probably get a lot of hits....and all for the wrong reasons.  Even saying the name out loud makes me blush.  Even typing it out makes me cringe a little.  Booby. And it's all about them today:)  But before I begin, have you ever written something that has information that is considered "out of the norm"?  For example, I find that a post I wrote about two years ago on meth and my garden is still quite popular today as it was when it first hit the internet waves back in 2010 or a post mentioning nude hiking last year still gets a lot of hits.  And clicking on the stats "What was typed in" part, is quite humorous:) So I imagine this post today will have the same appeal but for all the wrong reasons:) But hey, maybe they'll learn something.
I was pretty excited about finding the Blue Footed and Brown Boobies nesting on Bird Island because they are normally found further south.....as far down as the Galapagos Islands, Gulf of Mexico etc. So this was a real treat to see in person.  And that's why this post is dedicated to these birds.  If you look closely at the beak or feet, you'll see the light blue colors on this interesting bird.   And like Betsy always says on her blog, "click on the pics to make them larger."  PS.  Betsy, you've coined that phrase.  I say copyright and earn some money off of it:) 
As you approach the islands, you'll begin to see a different kind of bird flying around your boat.  The gulls are still around, but the Brown and Blue Footed Boobies clouded the skies!  There were more Brown Footed Boobies than Blue Footed.  BUT!!!  The cool part?  The nesting habits of these birds....
Check this shot out above.  I've got better ones below.  Savage and brutal...here's the story.  Much like an Owl, their nest isn't anything special.  They take over a rocky area and usually lay 2 eggs.  They have to watch out for gulls because they will eat the eggs or babies.  Growing up with gulls, I don't really care for them too much.  Don't get me wrong.  They are cool, but for my little town of Two Rivers, they were considered cockroaches of the sky.  And I realize how wrong I was back then about these birds, but they are opportunists....just like people.  Maybe we are the cockroaches of this planet.  In fact, I'm pretty sure we are.  Anyhow, during my shoot, I saw a gull snatch a newly born chick.  Okay...it was kinda cool:)
Colonies upon colonies of these birds covered these rock islands.  I can't express how many thousands of birds were found here.  My camera couldn't do justice capturing their nests en masse.  They look like little black blurps in the background.   So here is another interesting fact about the nesting.  While it's common for 2 eggs to hatch in the nest, it's not uncommon to see only one chick survive.  The stronger one will always win....just like anything in nature.  If all of my 5 cats were placed outside to fight and survive here in the desert, my bet would be on my grey cat.  She's a tank! That's why she gets a little extra cream:)  Our pampered white kitty wouldn't have a chance.
Here's some more fun.  Parenting is done by both male and female.
These chicks are also very adorable.  They cling closely to their parents for assistance.
This is a "teenager" below getting ready for take off. 
This Double Crested Cormorant watches on and approves:)  This could be the next great Pixar film!!!
Here is a good example of nesting.  One parent has a chick while the one in the back has two.  My observations saw more one chick nests over the two chick nest.
You may ask how they feed?  The parents regurgitate the food into their beaks and the chicks go inside and help themselves to lunch:)
Look at how this chick is looking at the parent with "hungry" eyes...."open your beak!!"    The parent is saying, "I got nothing here kiddo.":)
I like to joke around a lot because it's fun to get people to react.  But I have an expression I like to use with my other half and others..."Momma bird baby bird."  A lot of bird parents "chew up" the food for their chicks. When my nephews or nieces want their food cut up without using "please", I ask them, "Momma bird baby bird?"  And they get grossed out.   Especially so in my family because my mother has raised lots of parrots and parrokeets.  Have you seen the liquid stuff they eat?  It looks like the food we feed our Senior Citizens at hospitals and retirement homes!!  My first job was at a kitchen hospital in high school. I don't think there was anything nastier than seeing "PUREE" on the menu.  Oh and finding dentures in a soup bowl.  That's pretty gross as well.  My point here.  I don't EVER want to be put in a retirement home.
In fact I write this blog for my later years.  If I start having symptoms of dimensia, I'll have these pictures and stories to remember and be remembered by!:)  I think I am already showing the first signs of it.  You all should hear my father.  He loops!  Seriously, how can a man talk about weather for an hour?!:)  I think he missed his calling as a weather forecaster. Love you Dad:)

This shoot was very special for me and I hope you enjoyed the trip to bird island.  There are some posts that I like to call, "the million dollar" ones.  This is one of them.  They are the posts that allow me to escape roads and humans for days or hours just to experience a world without electronics, people, and chaos.  The ones where I have to keep an eye open for crocs or sliding to my death on muddy trails.....or being thrown overboard by a rogue wave. It's just me, the camera, some water and a few snacks with good friends.  It's not for everyone, but for me, it's perfection.  Tomorrow, we'll finish my series at Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.



19 comments:

Thérèse said...

What a trip to Bird Island!
The analogy with "cockroaches" is pretty good! :-)
I like the "schmoozing one" (Nr4) a lot.

DeeBee L. said...

Nice Boobies!!!:)))) Sorry i had to do this one, you are tempting us!!!:)))
Lovely post and it's always a delight to see the new generations out! These chicks look so fluffy! Sadly the story about the gull snatching a newborn is awful but is natural selection! the animal world is harsh! A good week to you Chris! :)

eileeninmd said...

Very cool post! I love the boobies, they are neat looking birds. And the chicks are so cute. I was lucky to see the Blue footed in Panama and the Brown Booby in St Thomas. I would like to see more of them, like in your shots. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

Kalantikan said...

Dearest Kreesh (last time it was only Dear Kreesh), this is my most favored post. I've been laughing all along, you have all the twists and additions at every unexpected corners, and they are more lovable than the birds. Kidding aside, i am just like you in being very happy when not seeing a lot of people and far from the big city, with only my camera and some food and friends. However, i wont go through 6h through high waves that much. I would rather stay in the mountain, LOOOOOOL!

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful photographs, fantastic views. I am greeting

tracy said...

Thanks for letting us see your Boobies!

TexWisGirl said...

you wove in a few tangents here. :)

Gaelyn said...

I studied ornithology in college and saw video of the boobies. How fortunate you are to see them or real.

Our blogging records the Now for the future to learn about the past.

ShySongbird said...

A most entertaining read and great photos Chris. I've never seen so many Boobies! I was sorely tempted yesterday but managed to resist ;-) So funny to read about your stat findings. I couldn't resist a wry smile when I checked mine once and found a very dubious search term had led someone to to one of my Parus Major (common name, Great Tit) photos...he must have been so disappointed ;-)

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your interesting post and lovely photos. Sadly, I think you are correct about us being the Cockroaches. I have often said I don't think we were intended for this planet and that perhaps we are aliens!

Laurence Butler said...

Well Chris, you've been playing hard to get, but finally you've shown your Boobies. And not just a pair or something either, lots and lots!

I enjoyed this post a lot. I've never seen these cool birds before. Thanks for sharing.

Ragged Robin said...

A wonderful post Chris with some brilliant photos. Your first paragraph did make me laugh - many a time I've rephrased the heading of my post :)

I am learning so much too about American birds from your posts. Keep up the good work :)

Warren Baker said...

Nice post Chris! Nice photo's to tell the story too. Cant have enough Boobies Mate ;-)

Bob Bushell said...

The Boobies are so beautiful, and your photos of them.

Magpie said...

You're right this will probably get lots of hits and I hope you're also right in that they will learn something. It is an odd name for a bird.

Pam said...

This is definitively a million dollar post, Chris. Your gorgeous photos are priceless. What a thrilling experience that must have been for you and your friends.
Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder, I enjoyed immensely.
cheers

Jill said...

I did spend quite a lot of time giggling over the name but these birds proved to be so interesting. The babies are darling! The rocks and water are such a beautiful setting!

JT said...

I'm speechless. These are amazing. This is probably somewhere I will never go, thanks for sharing.

Gillian Olson said...

They are very interesting birds, the chicks are really, really adorable too.

CameraCruise said...

Wonderful post and your photos are amazing.
Thanks for sharing from this great place.