Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands sea birds


Storm Petrels: There are the tiny black and white birds often seen flitting on the surface of the ocean. There are 3 resident species in Galapagos: the white-vented (Elliot's), the wedge-rumped (Galapagos), and the white-banded (Maderian).

Galapagos storm petrel

As their names imply  identification at least in part is made by sorting out the tail markings. Storm Petrels (Oceadroma tethys) are good indicators of a productive ocean, and you can see them while cruising off the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela.

The Galapagos Storm Petrels differs from the most other species of storm petrel in that it is active at the colony during the day.

Galapagos brown pelican
Lava Gulls: The Lava Gull (Larus fuliginosus), is thought to be rarest gull in the world numbering only some 400 pairs . It is found only the Galapagos. Though few in number, it is widely distributed around the coasts of the archipelago.

The adult lava gull is dark grey all over with the head and upper neck almost black, forming a hood. Its white eye-ting contrasts sharply with the hood, as does its scarlet gape. The densest population is at Academy Bay, where there is always in abundance of fish and other waste in the harbour.

Lava gulls are solitary nesters, laying two heavily blotched eggs in a scrape near a lagoon, on a sandy beach, or rocky spit.

The young have much brown in their plumage.

The lava gull is primarily a scavenger, though it will also catch small fish from the sea surface, Lava gulls will also take seabird eggs and newly hatched iguanas and turtles. They are unafraid of people and will often rest on the stern of yachts at anchor.

Galapagos sea birds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Brown Noddy
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