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).
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.
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.
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
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.