doves: The Galapagos dove (Zenaida galapagoensis)
is an attractive bird. The upper parts are mainly a reddish
brown with some black and white on the wings. The neck and
breast are tinged with pink and the feet are bright red.
is surrounded by a spectacular bright blue ring. Below and
behind the eye is a small black-bordered creamy stripe. To
complete this magnificent plumage, both sides of the neck have
an iridescent bronze-green patch. The juvenile plumage is much
hawks: While birds of prey (raptors), Galapagos hawks
are mostly scavengers, feeding on carrion and playing a useful
role in the ecosystem. It has exceptional vision, which refines
its skill as a hunter. An endemic species, the Galapagos hawk
has an interesting social mating and breeding system in which
two or more males mate with a single female and help raise the
||The texts refer to this as cooperative polyandry behavior. What makes this behavior even more striking is that it has recently been reported that this unique breeding system is only used by the hawks on particular islands in the Galapagos.
Mockingbirds: The Galapagos mockingbirds are unusual in several
respects. Belying their name (and differing from other
mockingbird species), they do not mimic other birds.
ways, they seem to fill the niche left vacant by the absence of
small land mammals. The Galapagos mockingbirds feed on insects,
small lizards, young finches, carrion, as well as unprotected
food. They tend to get around more by running than by flying.
Their breeding behavior is communal, with several generations
staying with and defending the family territory as well as
assisting in the care and feeding of the juveniles.