North Seymour and Rabida Islands

Apr 14, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


As we arrived to North Seymour this morning, we could see frigates gliding along the coastline. Some of them were male frigates with a partially inflated red pouches, followed by juveniles and female. After landing, a few feet into the walk we found a land iguana under a cordia lutea tree, and just next to it, on another muyuyo shrub, two endemic swallow-tailed gulls, sitting on the ground on top of a nest made of pebbles. So much wildlife to observe, and this was just the prelude of things to come today!

As we continued our walk, blue-footed boobies waited for us in the middle of the trail. A male stopped and pointed his bill upward, hoping to be seen by a female that was flying right over him. She understood his move and landed right next to him, and as she approached him, he started whistling…definitively courting, it is the time of the year! Land iguanas waited in the shade of the opuntia cacti, highly likely hoping that the fruits of the pads will fall on top of them. The cacti here are their only source of water. One walked in front of us and decided to rest under the cactus next to the trail—as the morning gets hotter, even the reptiles seek out any shade or breeze they can find.

At a distance, we found a male frigatebird with his pouch inflated. Next to this male, we could distinguish other males, all of them making different sounds and moving their wings as the females flew above. Just one of them within the group has gotten the attention of a beautiful female, who was carefully inspecting the place where the male has decided to make the nest.

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About the Author

Ximena Cordova

Naturalist

Ximena was born in Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador. Located in the Andes Mountains, Cuenca is known as the cultural capital of Ecuador and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site because of its many historical buildings. Ximena gained experience with American culture as an exchange student in Santa Barbara, CA, and later, while living and working at the United Nations in New York City for four and a half years.

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