Tag Archive | Southern Sea Lions

Islas Ballestas~

Islas Ballestas, an island group off the coast of Paracas, are often referred to as Peru’s Galapagos. They are a group of uninhabited islands that are part of the wildlife rich, Paracas National Reserve. This is a colony of Guanay Cormorants native to Peru and Chile.

You cannot visit the islands without passing the giant Candelabra carved into the rock face and carbon dated to 200 BCE.

The islands shelter an incredible variety of fauna. There are literally millions of birds and their feathers float and fill the air like lazy drifting snowflakes.

There are fur seals, Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, blue footed boobies, and so many more amazing wild creatures here. I will show you them in my next few posts.

But for now, let’s just look at these unusual islands.

They are volcanic, and riddled with arches and ancient sea caves. The layers in the caves show the process of geologic time.

You can go in the caves, if you dare, and if you do, look at what you will see!

Cheers to you from Peru’s incredible islands~

Imperial Shag, Southern Sea Lion & an Albatross Too!

The Imperial Shag (this odd name sounds like a rude comment about the British Monarchy, but thankfully it’s not) is a species of cormorant native to the Sub-Antarctic Islands and Southern South America. They look much like penguins, but they can fly, both in the air and under water. Here you can see them sunning with Southern Sea Lions, AKA South American Sea lions on an island off the coast of Ushuaia. I much confess that I am puzzled by the Southern Sea Lions. They look nothing like the sea lions I am familiar with in California, but apparently are closely related. These Southern Sea Lions are fatter, furrier and look more like a Weddell seal. They probably need the extra fat and fur to survive in the arctic waters. They are quite handsome I think! (Click to enlarge.)

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In this photo, an Albatross is flying overhead.

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Here is a better shot of the handsome sea lions.

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