Genovesa Island

Jun 23, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


We arrived today to our final destination. Our last full day in the Galapagos we spend on the spectacular northern island of Genovesa, also known by the English name of Tower. It is one of the most pristine islands in the archipelago, and home of great colonies of sea and land birds; frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, rare Darwin finches and tropicbirds. The elusive lava gull are some of the ones we found on the white sand of Darwin Bay. This low, brushy island serves as a beacon to winged ocean wanderers as well.

Early in the morning, our guests discovered the beauty of the island, kayaking along the calm waters right after the hike. We observed some frigate birds harassing noisy tropicbirds, and we saw curious sea turtles that showed their bodies on the surface of the ocean. We did not miss the sea lions barking, and others resting on the beach, red-footed boobies nesting, flying, incubating or making an elaborated courtship dance.

During the afternoon, we hiked, looking for the short-eared owl among the bushes, where it hunts and feeds on small storm petrels. The owl stays camouflaged until it makes the last move. We also saw the nesting site of red-footed boobies, where we found a chick opening its beak, waiting to be fed by one of its parents. How different red footed boobies are when they are younger, and how unique in their behaviour when up in the trees.

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About the Author

Antonio Adrian

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Antonio is Ecuadorian, although he was raised in Catalonia. He has been a naturalist in the Galápagos since 1994. He studied sciences in a boarding school in England for two years, and he spent four years in medical school in Spain. He then dropped out, to follow Darwin’s footsteps around the wide world.

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