Genovesa: Darwin Bay & Prince Phillips Steps

Mar 02, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited Genovesa, located on the North East part of the Archipelago. The Panamanian current influences this archipelago greatly. Deep water surrounds Genovesa, with the platform dropping dramatically to more than 12,000 feet below sea level.

Early in the morning, we observed for the first time during this journey the red-footed boobies. Genovesa is the home to the largest colony of this species around the world with more than 200,000 pairs. This island also harbors thousands of sea birds, including red-billed tropical birds, great frigate birds, Nazca boobies, shearwaters, and petrels.

On the beach, we observed red-footed boobies sky pointing and great frigatebirds with their red pouch fully inflated to attract females, as well as the yellow-crowned heron.

In the afternoon, we climbed Prince Phillip’s steps. We observed three short-eared owls; one of which was hunting and feeding on a Galapagos storm petrel.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


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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