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Galapagos > Galapagos activities > Galapagos birding

Galapagos birding

The Galapagos Islands are one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the world. Their 29 of the 58 resident bird species are endemic. This is where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by studying 13 species of finches. Their position in the cold Humboldt current flowing north from the Antarctic, and bringing nutrients to the surface, make the surrounding waters rich in fish and plankton, and account for the huge numbers of seabirds here, including, amazingly on the equator, Galapagos Penguin.

The Galapagos is truly a birder's paradise. While the number of species is not as high as on the continents, the ability to get very close to the birds and to see their behaviors in their natural settings is what makes the Galapagos so special. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 80 percent of the land birds are endemic, meaning they occur only here. The sea birds have the least proportion of endemism, being able to fly away when needed. Of the 15 species, 5 are endemic and these include the flightless cormorant and the penguin.

Galapagos Islands waved albatross

The island of Espanola is residence for almost the entire world's population of the waved albatross. Around 12,000 pairs arrive in early April to breed and nest and leave in December. Courtship, a marvelous choreographed ritual lasting up to 20 minutes, reaches its peak in October with the new-found couple then waiting until the following year to breed. The bird most associated with the Galapagos is the booby. There are 4 species, of which 3 are residents and the blue-footed booby is the most famous.

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Galapagos booby

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