Friday, June 13, 2014

My Year of Darwin 6/13/2014:Darwin and the Birds of the Cocos Islands

 Charles Darwin

"Overhead numerous gannets, frigate-birds, and terns, rest on the trees; and the wood, from the many nests and from the smell of the atmosphere, might be called a sea-rookery. The gannets, sitting on their rude nests, gate at one with a stupid yet angry air, The noddies, as their name expresses, are silly little creatures. But there in one charming bird: it is a small, snow-white tern, which smoothly hovers at the distance of a few feet above one's head, its large black eye scanning, with quiet curiosity, your expression. Little imagination is required to fance that so light and delicate a body must be tenated by some wandering fairy spirit." Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle

The Cocos Islands are a series of isolated islands off the northwest coast of Australia. 

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The Masked Booby. One of three boobies that occurs on the Cocos. Darwin calls them gannets because the gannet of the north Atlantic Ocean is a booby. 

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Brown Noddy. These birds look stupid? 

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The White Tern. Cute indeed!

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