Galápagos Islands Local Custom Tips by windsorgirl
Galápagos Islands Local Customs: 24 reviews and 27 photos
You can see flamingos on Isla Rabida and Isla Sante Fe. The characteristic pink colouration of the Galapagos Flamingo is maintained by their diet of bright pink shrimp larvae and other pink marine insects.
Male Frigate Bird
The Great Frigate birds can be found in colonies on Isla Seymour Norte. They are not the friendliest birds in the animal kingdom in that they rely on other birds, like boobies and gulls to catch fish and then the Frigates steal their fish away. Another interesting fact about the frigate birds is that the males have these floppy red pouches beneath their beaks that they can inflate to incredible proportions to attract a female.
Nesting Waved Albatross Pair
Considered to be the rarest bird of the Galapagos Islands is also the largest. The Waved Albatross has a wing span of 2.5m, making it an expert flyer but less than graceful while on land. These birds spend most of their time flying to different locales in the South Pacific, but return exclusively to Isla Espanola every year from April to December to hatch and rear their young. This mating pair did not leave their nest while we were visiting, but apparantly, their take offs and landings are quite hilarious to watch.
There are 2 species of land iguanas on the Galapagos, they can reach up to 1m in length.
The marine iguanas are very unique in that they are they only aquatic iguana in the world. They have evolved to eat green algae that grows underwater. They can swim to a depth of 20m and stay underwater for an hour at a time. They are also able to expunge excess absorbed salt out of their noses.
And, as you may guess, the hybrid Iguana is what you get when a male marine iguana mates with a female land iguana. They are very rare to spot and are identified by thier unusual stripes. Our group was lucky to see one on Isla South Plaza.
Sea Turtle Tracks
There are 4 species of Marine Turtles that have been spotted on the Galapagos Islands. I only observed one while snorkelling one day, but one morning we came across these turtle tracks in the sand. The females come up from the water at night and dig a deep hole into which they lay hundreds of eggs and leave them there to incubate in the hot sun.
The Courtship Dance of the Male Blue Footed Booby
The Blue Footed Boobies were by far my favourite animals from the Galapagos. We came across hundreds of them, most at very close range. We were only allowed to walk on very narrow pathways on the islands and often, the boobies would nest right in the middle of our path, so we would literally have to step over them to get by.
They are very skilled hunters and extremely entertaining to watch. You will see them soaring a hundred feet in the air and they will suddenly dive from that distance nose first into the water, resembling a kamikaze pilot. After a few moments you will see them pop up from the water like a piece of toast from the toaster, usually with a fish in their beak. It was always fun to watch them from the deck of the boat.
They also really do have these intensely blue webbed feet, like the colour of sky. You can also see a trace of blue on their upper beak.
And, lastly, if you are lucky, you will be able to witness the male's comical mating dance. He will show off his lovely blue feet to his girl by picking them up one at a time and then he will usually pick up a stick in his mouth and wave it around for her to see. Where else on earth can you be so close to see such an interesting act of nature?
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