Genovesa: Prince Phillips & Steps Darwin Bay

Mar 02, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we visited Genovesa, an ideal place to observe sea birds and a paradise for any bird lover. This island is strongly influenced of the Panama current. The platform drops dramatically to more than 12000 feet below sea level outside of Darwin Bay, and therefore it is the ideal habitat for pelagic seabirds.

In the morning, we observed the short-eared owl catching a petrel. This species of owl is active during the morning, because in this island, the Galapagos hawk is not present.  We also observed several nesting the Nazca boobies and red-footed boobies, some with eggs and others with chicks of different ages.  On Genovesa we have the largest colony of red-footed boobies in the world, with more than 145,000 pairs.

On the beach we observed the large beak ground finch. We also saw swallow-tailed gulls mating, lava gulls and several males of the great frigatebird with their red pouch fully inflated.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza

Naturalist

Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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