American Oystercatchers and Fur Seals on Santiago Island, The Galápagos

A young American oystercatcher follows its mother along the sand, looking for food. They sift through the sand and poke their beaks into small nooks in the lava pools. Generally they eat shellfish; with their sturdy beaks they can pry open an oyster, clam or muscle and snip the muscle that holds the shell closed. The American oystercatcher is an uncommon bird in the Galápagos Islands and there are probably only around two hundred pairs. They are stick to the rocky shores, sandy beaches and coastal lagoons.

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Nearby, fur seals are lying on the lava rocks. Fur seals look very similar to sea lions, however there are some distinguishable differences. Fur seals’ coats tends to be thicker and, generally, they are smaller than sea lions. Their eyes are bigger than the sea lions’ and their noses are more pointed. They also have hoarser voices, which are less often used and they are better climbers, so will often be found high up on the rocky shores.

A young fur seal watches the passing tourists inquisitively and, a little further on, two pups play with a sally lightfoot crab in the rock pools. A mother lies with her young pup, who is probably only about five days old and still has the umbilical cord attached to it while another young fur seal seems to pose for photographs.

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SOURCES: 

  • http://galapagos-island-tourguide.com/galapagos-american-oystercatcher.html
  • http://en.allexperts.com/q/Wild-Animals-705/2009/9/Galapagos-Fur-Seals-Sea.htm

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American Oystercatchers and Fur Seals on Santiago Island, The Galápagos

by Uncover Travel time to read: 1 min
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