Trip ReportsGalapagos Islands
August 2021

Galapagos Islands

11 days 54 species 32 lifersView on eBird

Even though the Galapagos Islands have a relatively low bird species abundance, the species they do have are quite unique. I found the birds and other wildlife to be quite approachable which afforded great photo ops. I went to the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabella, San Cristobol, and a short trip to Floreana. The purpose of my trip was not soley birding, so I didn't make it out to the far side of Isabella where the Flightless Cormorants are found.

Galapagos Penguin LiferView on eBird
Waved Albatross LiferView on eBird
I had the best success with Waved Albatross on the boats between the islands.
Red-billed Tropicbird LiferView on eBird
Blue-footed Booby View on eBird
Striated Heron (Galapagos) View on eBird

Unfortunately I didn't do quite as well with the endemic shearwater and petrel.

Galapagos Shearwater LiferView on eBird
Galapagos Petrel LiferView on eBird
Galapagos Dove LiferView on eBird
Dark-billed Cuckoo LiferView on eBird
I thought I would have a difficult time with these, but after searching for and finding this one I incidentally saw several more
Galapagos Rail LiferView on eBird
This was possibly the biggest highlight of the trip. They're extremely secretive and very few people have photos of them at all. I was fortunate enough to get amazing views after putting in quite a bit of effort researching and searching in the field.
San Cristobal Mockingbird View on eBird
Floreana Mockingbird LiferView on eBird
Evidently at one point they moved all the Floreana Mockingbirds onto one or two offshore "rocks". Our boat circled one of them and I was eventually able to spot one on a cactus. There's only about 750 left in the wild, 70 of which were evidently on the rock we visited (Champion).
Galapagos Flycatcher LiferView on eBird
Short-eared Owl (Galapagos) View on eBird
This was a pleasant surprise. I randomly came across it while out cycling the highlands of Santa Cruz in search of a Brujo Flycatcher. I only ever saw a Brujo briefly from a bus.
Green Warbler-Finch LiferView on eBird

At the end of the trip I hiked the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabella. I had several target species including the Hawk and Martin for which I thought my chances were pretty low. Thankfully I had great success with both!

Galapagos Hawk LiferView on eBird
Galapagos Martin LiferView on eBird

The finches were kinda tough to identify, but thankfully I saw so many that I was able to feel confident about my identifications. Some have such massive bills that they're undoubtedly Large Ground-Finch, and some islands have Medium-Ground Finches but not Large, so it all worked out.

Small Ground-Finch LiferView on eBird
Vegetarian Finch LiferView on eBird
Such a cool name!
Woodpecker Finch LiferView on eBird
Large Ground-Finch LiferView on eBird
Common Cactus-Finch LiferView on eBird

Some additional shots from the trip:

Whimbrel View on eBird
Ruddy Turnstone View on eBird
Brown Noddy View on eBird
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