Awww! Isn’t that the cutest baby bird you ever saw? Of course, I say that about lots of birds that I see – the Penguin and the Blue-Footed Booby, to name a few. But this cute baby was actually about a foot and a half tall, maybe even two feet – larger than many adult birds. This is a Waved Albatross chick. And I was thrilled to encounter him!
He was standing just a few feet from a path that I, my fellow yacht passengers, and our guide were walking on in Espanola, one of the Galapagos Islands. You might be able to see in the photos that this baby’s fluffy feathers were starting to develop into wings, so that one day very soon, he will be able to take flight, and soar for hours upon hours in the skies above the Galapagos. You might also be able to notice that his bill is turning yellow, a distinctive feature of the Waved Albatross when they are adults.
After I took about a dozen pictures of this one particular baby chick, we continued down the path to a place where several pairs of adult Waved Albatross were lounging in the grass in the sun, many of them pruning their feathers. The yellow beaks are indeed quite noticeable.
After I took about another dozen pictures of one pair of adults in particular, we continued down the path to a cliff so that we could watch the amazing flying of these birds. The Waved Albatross are considered “medium-sized” albatross, as their wingspans “only” get to seven and a half feet (that’s still about two and a half feet taller than I am)! This is compared to the “large-sized” Royal Albatross that I saw in New Zealand, whose wingspan measures up to twelve feet in length. Watching either of these albatross in flight is indeed a wonderful, powerful sight!
After my time overlooking the seas below the cliffs, and watching the soaring albatross above, we walked back on the path, where we not only saw more baby chicks (very cute, huh?),
but also a large egg of an albatross,
as well as a chick with one of its parents, feeding.
And then the ultimate that I saw was a baby albatross, an adult albatross and a Blue-Footed Booby, all together, just lounging in the grass in the sun!!
All photos by Debby