Although the Galapagos Islands are famous due to their wide diversity of marine and land creatures, the different birds species make travelling to the Galapagos Islands memorable. Even though each species of birds feature their exotic characteristics, there is no doubt that on top of the list you will always find the red and blue footed boobies. Nonetheless , I would like to start my own ranking based on my latest experience during my last visit to the majestic place, and as I can rattle off their main differences among birds.
Galapagos brown Pelican
These brown birds can usually be found near the harbors and docks in the main cities along the archipelago. Their basic diet is based on fresh fish and their feeding process is based on hitting the ocean by diving with their beak widely open and the wings extended. However, their tail and feet never touch the water, suggesting a hunting performance for small fishes located just few inches under water. Afterwards, the brown Pelican shakes wáter off and sits down, while attempting to never let go of the fish. Like many other creatures in the Galapagos Islands, they don’t get intimidated by the presence of humans, which makes travelling to the Galapagos beautiful. Their medium size body will impress you, if you walk near the sites close to the shores.
Galapagos islands albatross
Considered the biggest birds in the whole archipelago, the albatross can be found mostly during their mating season. Their wingspan consists of about 240 cm. Most of their population is found on Española for mating and nesting. Its full intense yellow peak and ivory neck recognize the Galapagos albatross. Observing their mating ritual and how they play with their peaks for courtship is a unique ritual that you can witness with astonishment.
Galapagos blue footie boobies
Blue Footed Boobies
The most common species in the Galapagos Islands yet mostly rare in the rest of the world can be watched near the shores where they usually are nesting. The most numerous colonies of blue-footed boobies are concentrated in the islands of Espanola and North Seymour. Curious enough, the female is bigger than the male, and their weight is between 3 and 5 pounds. Their size is less than 3 feet tall and their wingspan is 5 feet.
Red footed boobies Galapagos Islands
Red Footed Booby
This kind of bird is usually found in tropical oceans, and breed colonially for the most part, nearby the shores of islands. There are two kinds of morphs among this species. The white morphs and the black morphs of red footed boobies can be found in the archipelago at random. Nevertheless, the most predominantly kind in the Galapagos Islands is the latter than the former. This kind of bird is considered powerful and a skillful flyer, nonetheless they are also recognized as clumsy during their takeoff and landings. Genovese is the island where this booby is more likely to be found.
Galapagos islands birds
The Magnificent frigate is usually bigger in size than the great frigate. Some of the characteristics that feature this species are its purple feathers, whose sound can be perceived more like a drum. This bird is known as “One man war”, due to its rakish lines when flying and aerial piracy to other birds. It has a size of 31 inches long, and a wingspan of 85 inches. Usually, the male´s black feathers become purple when the sunrays are reflected upon, along with a scarlet reddish throat punch that is inflated like a balloon in their breeding season. You could find them nesting in the islands of Isabel, North Seymour, Genovesa, and San Cristobal.
Galapagos islands penguins
The Galapagos penguin is considered the second smallest bird of banded penguins in the world. In the Galapagos Island they are found mostly on the west side of the archipelago such as Isabela and Fernandina islands. However you can find them randomly in the islands of Floreana, Santiago, Bartolome and Santa Cruz. They are 29 inches long and weight 5.5 pounds.
Galapagos islands birds
The Galapagos Hawk is another endemic species and its size is similar to its closest relative from North America such as the Swaison´s hawk. It has a wingspan of 120 cm, and a size of 55 cm long from beak to tail. Normally, when this particular kind of hawk is in its youth, it shows a light brown color and by the time it has achieved its adulthood its feathers are black. The main characteristic of the Galapagos hawk is its broad wings and tails. Due to two and only main seasons available at the archipelago (dry and wet seasons), the hawk has a regular mating season. The Galapagos hawk is considered as an Apex predator with an outstanding sight. This kind of bird relies on insects and lava lizards, snakes and rodents. They can be found all over the archipelago, although there is a recent concern due to its declining population. According to a recent census there might be available about 150 pairs.