Galapagos Sea Birds

The cool, oxygen-rich waters that surround the Galapagos Isles support a great variety of sea birds including Boobies, Frigates, Penguins, Pelicans and the Albatross. Most of the birds on the islands are endemic, particularly the Penguins which are the only species of Penguin to be found in the world that live in a tropical climate.

The Waved Albatross breeds solely on Espanola Island, while colonies of Blue-footed, Red-footed, and Masked Boobies are found alongside Frigate birds.

Espanola is the most southerly of the archipelago and somewhat outlaying having a high portion of endemic fauna. The island is well worth visiting, because it has the only colony of the Waved Albatross, one of the Galapagos most spectacular seabirds.

The best visitor site on Espanola is Punta Suarez where you can follow a trail of lava rocks where Blue-footed Boobies have placed their nests and a variety of Iguanas bask in the sun. The trail continues towards a colony of Waved Albatross.

One of the Sea Birds most associated with the islands is the Booby Bird. There are 4 species of Booby bird resident on the islands, the Red-footed Booby, the Masked Booby, the Nazca Booby and the most famous Blue-footed Booby, appropriately named for its blue legs and blue webbed feet. The largest Booby can grow between 30 and 35 inches tall and they have long, brown, pointed wings with a span of between 5 - 6 feet which is the size of an average adult.

The Nazca Booby Bird was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Masked Booby but the Nazca Booby is now recognized as a separate species. Boobies received their name by allowing them to be captured while asleep. Boobies are a part of the 'Sulidae' family made up of ten species of long-winged sea birds the size of geese. Their feet are completely webbed including hind toes, not free as in a duck. Boobies live near tropical and subtropical islands around the world. They can regularly been seen diving in the sea, catching fish and only come ashore for breeding. All booby birds nest close to the ocean and even close to each other.