Incredible Animals of the Galapagos

Blue-footed Booby

Howdy! So, did you get out your compass and protractor to figure out the mathematical figures and angles I made in the poem? Three hundred and sixty degrees represents the circles I make flying over the bay looking for small fish, my 'target.' One hundred and eighty degrees represents the angle of a straight line, a ray or a plane, in the poem referring to the surface of the water and the plane, parallel with the water, in which I make my circles. The rest of the numbers, 90, 80, 50, 45 and 30, represent the degrees of the angles at which I dive after fish.

Did you also figure out the references to other birds in the poem? The 'splash in the pan trick' refers to one of the brown pelican's fishing techniques, and the 'thieving pirate ship' to one of the frigate bird's preferred methods, since it often steals fish, midair, from smaller birds, like me.

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© 2007 OneWorld Classrooms. Text by Paul Hurteau. Photos by Dennis Pippen, Lilia Cai and Miguel Mosquero. All rights reserved.