Darwin’s finches. Galapagos Islands.

I’ve entitled this post “Darwin’s finches” but let me immediately qualify that.   You see there are 13 different species of finches in the Galapagos Islands and I have no way of telling which one of the 13 this fellow is.     If there are any ornithologists out there who think they’ve got the answer, please let me know.    There are numerous interesting facts surrounding these birds which aren’t true finches at all but belong to the Tanager family of birds.

In keeping with the Galapagos Islands reputation as one of nature’s great evolutionary laboratories, the finches have adapted in some interesting ways dependant on the conditions that are peculiar to specific islands.   For example,  there are clear differences in beak shape dependant on the type of food available.   In one case the birds have a long narrow beak as it’s adapted to poking holes in the tough outer layer of the cactus species that it encounters.   These variations are also noted in the particular calls made by different species as well.

Darwin Finch, Galapagos Islands

Original image captured on colour negative film.    The photo was taken with the Pentax SF7 and Tokina 80-400mm lens at the long end of the zoom range.    Exact exposure details aren’t recorded but a wide aperture was used to enable a narrow depth of field.  The selective focus renders the bird sharp whilst blurring the background.