Jun 07, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

To the north of the Galapagos lies this incredible bird sanctuary of Genovesa.

National Geographic Endeavour II enters the caldera, which is filled with ocean water (the caldera) after the collapse of the southern rim wall. Once inside, we depart to reach the two only landing sites available. Some jet off by Zodiac to Darwin Bay and others to Prince Philip's steps.

Both destinations are teeming with sea birds of various kinds as well as terrestrial ones. Frigate birds here are at the peak of their nesting season, with males inflating their large red gular sacs for full display in order to attract females overhead. Red-footed boobies are also in their mating phase, although a number of them are already with eggs, and more still with chicks. Swallow-tailed gulls are found here taking care of their young. This place offers the most incredible opportunity to us for great pictures.

Sea lions resting on the sand or just being active for fun is another high point of the afternoon. Snorkeling offers wonderful encounters with a wide variety of fish and marine mammals like sea lions and fur seals.

In the afternoon, we explore the areas again for more photography and natural history, with phenomenal chances of pristine wildlife all around the islands, including the rare diurnal short-eared owl and the thousands of storm petrels, small sea birds, the owls prey upon.

This is another day rife with adventure in this pristine and unforgettable archipelago.

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

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