Galapagos Birds — Part I

I know I promised marine iguanas next, but Mike took some outstanding photos on our last day in the Galapagos, so I’m going to wait until he uploads those. In the meantime, I’ll cover penguins, flamingos, and a few other birds.

The Galapagos penguin is the northernmost penguin found in the wild. It’s pretty weird to have penguins hanging out at the equator, but the water is much colder than you’d expect it to be! We saw the penguins on our 4-day cruise when we stopped at Bartolome island.

This penguin is taking the plunge. We had the opportunity to snorkel with the penguins, which was a definite highlight for me. They really zip through the water like mini torpedoes. We were able to get almost as close to the penguins as you did your Thanksgiving turkey, but we didn’t put any in our mouths.

The penguins were really hamming it up for the cameras. It’s fun to watch how different they are on land versus in the water. They hop around with their heads hunched over, like the penguin in the foreground.

We saw flamingos on the last day of our cruise. They were hanging out in a lagoon on the north side of Santa Cruz island. We only saw 5, but it turns out that that is about 1% of the flamingo population in the Galapagos. It seems especially strange to me that there are flamingos very nearby penguins…

Some of the flamingos were a very light pink, but this one is fairly colorful. Supposedly they become brighter as they get older and better nourished.

So, if you try to picture the flamingo without its head and legs, what does it remind you of? Maybe the carnival? Maybe some nice, fluffy cotton candy?

This is a lovely little water bird that hangs out around tide pools. I think it’s an oyster catcher.

This bird has a pretty sweet mohawk, but I don’t know what kind of bird it is. All of the wildlife books on sale in the Galapagos were ridiculously expensive. There was one small (150 page) Lonely Planet wildlife guide that most stores were trying to sell for $35-40. You could see under the sticker that the regular price was around $20, and I’m sure you could buy it on Amazon and have it shipped to South America for $15 or less.

This is a male frigate bird. When they are on land they can puff out the red part so it looks like a giant balloon. Unfortunately, we only saw them in the air…

This frigate bird was soaring in the air around our boat.

Okay, you’ve reached the end of Galapagos Birds — Part I. Part II will feature pelicans, blue-footed boobies, etc. Also, you have yet to witness the grandeur of the Sally light-foot crabs, the marine iguanas, and whatever else I’m forgetting at the moment. Until next time!

One Response to “Galapagos Birds — Part I”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Love the photos!Nature is a wondrous thing to behold even if it is secondhand. Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed the cotton candy flamingo reference.Looking forward to seeing the boobies next.Turned the calendar page to Dec & we are getting our first blast of Winter.Nasty week forcast with every form of precip imaginable.Happy trails,stay safe!Miss you.Love,Mom

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