Walking among the animals
Espanola Island Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Next stop was Espanola Island, where tourists are allowed only on the southwestern tip of the island. Amazingly, that is enough. We step over snoozing sea lions, watch the land iguanas (better eating than the sea iguanas, I'm told. Happy to pass on both), but this island is really for the birds! Blue footed boobys, as well as a large population of albatross. Albatross mate for life, I'm told, and even though they may fly the seas for a year without landing, somehow they find their mate when they return to Espanola. We spent a great deal of time watching the "beak jousting" mating ritual of the albatross. Wonder what evolutionary purpose is served by such behavior--why this ritual rather than some other? Excellent at flying, their prowess at take off and landing leaves something to be desired, perhaps because they get so little practice at it.
Darwin finches, boobys abound, and we waited over a hour for a cave dwelling owl to emerge. Phtographing finches is hard, they move fast and have a nasty habit of turning their rears to the camera while you are aiming.
Espanola also has a blowhole in the volcanic rock which is a sight to see, especially on days when the seas are rough.