On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

As we move closer to the new site launch, I wanted to remind you to submit things now via the form or to hold off until the new site is live.  The old email address is dead and until the new site is live, there’s no replacement for now. I hope to change that later today.

Ok, it looks like my concern about the new site launching very soon is a bit off, sounds like it will be weeks, not days. I’ve got a bunch of submissions, mostly multiple sets from a few folks. Please do continue to submit pictures, but don’t feel like it must be now.

Have a wonderful day and weekend, enjoy the pictures!


We are once again blessed with some amazing pictures, and though I love the new Friday tradition, I do miss otmar – please come back! ;)

Today, pictures from valued commenter Albatrossity.

The second of 2 sets of five pictures from San Cristobal, and then some from Española. Enjoy!

Taken on 2019-05-30 00:00:00

San Cristobal Island, Galápagos

Did you know that when pelicans yawn, they often bend their neck and then stretch their open pouch on top of that bent neck? Neither did I, but I watched this Brown Pelican do it several times, and it makes for an amusing photo!

Taken on 2019-05-30 00:00:00

San Cristobal Island, Galápagos

The Yellow Warbler of the Galápagos (Setophaga petechia aureola) looks very familiar to North American birders. Other than having a rusty red cap, it is nearly identical to the Yellow Warblers that breed on this continent, including right here in Kansas. Genetic studies indicate that this subspecies is most closely related to Yellow Warblers from the Cocos Islands off the coast of Costa Rica (S. p. xanthotera) and the so-called Mangrove Warbler of Central and South America (S. p. erithachorides). Interestingly, the genetic data indicate that the warblers only arrived in the Galápagos about 250,000-300,00 years ago, compared to the estimated arrival time of the Darwin’s finches (2-3 million years ago) and the Galápagos mockingbirds (2 million years ago). This means that the warblers on different islands have not had time to go through adaptive radiation to generate new endemic species for the various islands. They look pretty much alike, regardless of which island you observe them on. Indeed, even birds on the Cocos Island have no discernible morphological differences from those in the Galápagos, even though the genetic data say that Galápagos birds probably came from mainland populations (erithachorides) rather than from the Cocos Islands. Some interpret these data to indicate either that the Cocos and the Galápogos Islands were colonized by Yellow Warblers at about the same time, or that the Cocos Island birds are actually descendants of wandering Galápagos warblers.

Taken on 2019-05-30 00:00:00

San Cristobal Island, Galápagos

An endemic seabird, the Galápagos Petrel is either a separate species or a subspecies of the Dark-rumped Petrel, depending on which taxonomists you trust. Regardless of that status, the population in the Galápagos is critically endangered, estimated to total about 10,000-20,000 breeding pairs in the entire archipelago.

Taken on 2019-05-30 00:00:00

San Cristobal Island, Galápagos

The Red-billed Tropicbird is a favorite species of many birders, and is found in many places around the world. Nowhere is it considered to be abundant or common, however. It is always in flight, rarely alighting on the sea, and thus is a challenge to photograph. This is the best I’ve managed so far, but I think I will keep trying for a better shot.

Taken on 2019-05-30 00:00:00

San Cristobal Island, Galápagos

This Common Noddy Tern is posing nicely in front of a formation called variously Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido. The rock is a popular scuba and snorkeling destination, and our group found five species of sharks, as well as spotted eagle-rays, in the water there.


Thank you so much Albatrossity, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

20 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Nice photos!

    I love spotted eagle rays. Had a close encounter with one once while snorkeling in the Keys — such a beautiful creature, and large, like the size of a hood on a deVille!

  2. 2
    Quinerly says:


  3. 3
  4. 4
    Raven says:


  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: I used google since I wasn’t familiar with that particular ray. It is beautiful.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    Albatrossity Friday is the best! Does the Red-billed Tropicbird fly it’s whole life or does it sneak off to a secret lair to sleep, nest, and lay eggs?

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    Love warblers!

  8. 8
    Albatrossity says:

    @Mary G: They do apparently land, but only rarely and only on remote rocky places. Their legs are small and pretty useless on land (https://youtu.be/pJPGTvzIXRI) so flying around seems like the better bet. They do have an astounding courtship flight, which I have never seen but hope to someday!

  9. 9
    Wag says:

    Excellent photos! I hop to go to the Galapagos soon. Guess I’ll need a longer telephoto lens when I do…

  10. 10
    otmar says:

    To quote a different Austrian: I’ll be back.

  11. 11
    otmar says:

    Great pictures. I never manage to take good ones of birds.

  12. 12
    arrieve says:

    Wonderful pictures! I saw tropicbirds on land on Floreana — actually what we saw was that tail hanging out of crevices in the rocks. So they do hang out on land occasionally — maybe for nesting?

  13. 13
    stinger says:

    a better shot


  14. 14
    Betty says:

    Love the pictures and the explanations. Thanks so much!

  15. 15
    Albatrossity says:

    @stinger: Thanks, but it is definitely possible. For any of these birds you can find great images at the Internet Bird Collection site. Here’s a link to their gallery of photos of Red-billed Tropicbird. The site also has lots of information on where the bird is found, subspecies, and usually some great videos as well. Worth a look!

  16. 16
    Miki says:


    And thanks!

  17. 17

    Great photos, as always!

  18. 18
    Alain says:

    @otmar: so glad to hear it, hope all is well with you and yours.

  19. 19
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Holy moly!!! Where can we buy some of your birds?

  20. 20
    Albatrossity says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Well, some of them are available as framed prints at our local art gallery. If you don’t see a favorite there, or want something else that I may have sent to BJ in the past, send me an email (grosbeak57 at gmail dot com) and let me know.

Comments are closed.