Galapagos Land Birds

Of the 29 resident Galapagos land birds, 22 are endemic (unique) and all of them are thought to have colonised the islands from the South American mainland. Although some are largely dull in colour, they compensate by their extreme tameness.

The bird population is extremely human-fearless and Darwin remarked on the Doves which landed on his arms and head. If it was not for the land birds of Galapagos, we would get a very different picture of evolution. In conservation terms, the land birds play the most important part of avifauna (bird life).

Most land birds would have had great difficulty making the 600 mile journey to the islands initially. It would take one male and one female to complete the journey in order to mate, survive and flourish as they have. Once the initial hurdle was over, with no pre-existing species to worry about, they were free to evolve.

This is what happened with the Finches. To date, there are now 13 species of Finches from the original inhabitants. With the lack of predators on the islands, flightlessness evolved, however, with the recent introduction of feral animals, this is less likely to evolve further.

The unique conditions of the Galapagos Islands have produced many fascinating examples of wildlife and bird life, no wonder scientists called this place a 'natural laboratory'. Lets take a look at some of the amazing land birds of the Galapagos Islands.