The Bird-Watcher’s Paradise: A Trip To The Galapagos

One bird, two bird, red bird, blue bird. And also yellow birds and blackbirds and green birds and pink birds. Essentially every color in the rainbow exists on this remote island, and I’m not just talking about the local flora.

The Bird-Watcher’s Paradise: A Trip To The Galapagos

Since this island was birthed nearly 5 million years ago, it has since become a hub for the exoticly cute and sometimes flightless birds that live near the equator. The Galapagos Islands are home to over 50 species of both land and seabirds, many of which came to populate the island in rather mysterious ways. The presence of several of these birds is especially bewildering; scientists believe they were either brought here by a strong wind or stumbled upon the island in a chance of luck.

No matter the cause, we are happy these birds have found a place to call home on one of the most remote and intriguing islands off the shores of Central and South America. It is brimming with species that have come to evolve past the restrictions of their continental brothers and sisters to help develop a world that is truly unique from the rest.  So pack your beach bags and head to the Galapagos to observe and enjoy these feathered friends first hand!

The Bird-Watcher’s Paradise: A Trip To The Galapagos

The blue-footed booby is quite popular on this remote island. In fact, nearly 30% of the world’s blue-footed boobys live here, making it the largest booby colony in the world. You’re surely to see one of these birds first as they are often considered the most prominent birds on the island. These birds partake in extremely fascinating mating rituals that prove to be quite entertaining for all visitors, so be sure to carry a camera with you and snap a moment with these incredible creatures.

The Bird-Watcher’s Paradise: A Trip To The Galapagos

This next animal will require a waterproof camera if you hope to catch them at their most graceful; the Galapagos Penguin. Typically, penguins can be found in Southern regions where the water and temperatures are much cooler. The Galapagos islands, however, create a rather unique experience for these birds because of the Humboldt current; a current that stretches from Antarctica along the South American coast enabling the water to remain cooler despite the warming temperatures. This penguin is the only species of penguin that can be found North of the equator earning it a position in the photo album of memories from an unforgettable trip.

The Bird-Watcher’s Paradise: A Trip To The Galapagos

The Galapagos islands are also home to one of the rarest, flightless birds in the world: the flightless cormorant. Though you will never catch this bird flying overhead in the warmth of the sun, it can still be observed on tidelines, drying its wings or fighting with its neighbor. This bird can be captured both underwater and on land. Underwater, you’ll find them using their webbed feet to catch fish for food. On land, they like to lounge in the sun and avoid predators; an easy task considering the Galapagos is home to no natural predators of this bird. Hurray!

The largest bird to exist in the Galapagos is the waved albatross, weighing in at approximately four kilograms with a wingspread of nearly 2.5 meters. This bird has earned the reputation of majestic since it glides across the archipelago with exquisite grace and tremendous speed. Your best hope for catching a stunning photo of this bird, catch it in flight. The sheer majesty of their wingspan is sure to cause some echoes of “ooh’s” and “awes” as you show off your latest vacation collage.

One of few predatory birds to live on the island is the Galapagos Hawk. This powerful bird runs rampant here due to the fact that it has no natural enemies. You can find these hawks circling the skies or nesting with their mate, helping raise young. Though this bird has been severely reduced in population, it can still be captured by anyone skilled with a camera. Witness one of the marvels of the animal kingdom during mating season when these raptors partake in cooperative polyandry where one female will mate with two to three males to create offspring. They then work together as a unit to raise the young, delivering a truly kodak moment.

The Galapagos Islands have been a highly desirable vacation sight, being well-trodden since the days of Darwin. Though you won’t be the first visitor to mark your name in the sand, this island will forever offer a myriad of miracles that, with the simple click of a camera, can become a reality that you get to live for the rest of your life.

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