Galapagos joy, day 1: Albatross mating dance

By Ingrid Fetell Lee

albatross

You know when you come back from a vacation so good you just wish you could relive it over and over again? Well, over the next 14 days I’m going to be reliving my most joyful encounters with wildlife in the Galapagos, one photo each day.

The waved albatross of the Galapagos mates for life. As adults, they spend most of their lives alone at sea, but each year they meet on the same island to mate and nest. Their period of reacquaintance includes a complex dance where male and female bow to each other and click their beaks together.

I know birds have famously small brains, and perhaps it’s an anthropomorphic fallacy to attribute emotion to a behavior that is so clearly coded as instinct. But, I can’t help but see joy and love in the eyes of these birds as they perform these rituals.

The full set of my Galapagos photos (about 60 or so) appears in my Flickr photostream, in case you want to check them out.

August 13th, 2009

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