The Swallow-tailed Gull is the most common gull on the Galápagos Islands, or at least was the one we saw most often on our Wildside Nature Tours Galapagos Adventure, and it is also, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful of gulls. So, okay, if you are familiar with gulls at all, you may not think that is a high recommendation…as most people think of gulls as being more annoying than beautiful, but none the less, I think the Swallow-tailed Gull is a beautiful bird. It has the accents, red and white, in all the right places and a pleasing range of gray tones. And it is, as gulls go, an elegantly shaped bird, not hulking like Great Black-backed or Herring, or squat like a Ring-billed…but, well, well proportioned and elegant. On the Galapagos it is also completely unafraid of mankind. You have to walk around them on the lava trails of the islands, and on any dock.
The panel above illustrates several features. You have the mated pair, the sleeping bird showing its “false eye” which gives preditors the impression that the bird never sleeps, its minimal nest, and its habit of posing on top of rocks.
Sony Rx10iii at mostly 600mm equivalent (the mated pair is a wilde angle shot, as I did have to walk around them in the trail). Program Mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic on my iPad Pro.