Why Galapagos is a great destination for birdwatchers?

One of the best destinations for birdwatching is Galapagos Islands. It is probably the most valuable and purest place. There are up to thousands rare species of flora and fauna in here. Speaking about unique birds, there are 58 of them, 28 of which are peculiar only to this area.

Birds to keep an eye out

A birdwatching Galapagos tours is included in the bucket-list of every naturalist, and there are many reasons for this. There are some extraordinary animals that can be seen only on the Galapagos.

Waved albatross

  • A waved albatross is the largest bird that can be found on the islands. Moreover, this is the only species of albatross that lives exclusively in the tropics. Although the bird is able to soar over long distances, its main home is here, on the Galapagos Islands. They are one of the main reasons why birdwatching in Galapagos is so spectacular.
  • Where: Española
  • When: March - December

Galapagos hawk

  • This bird is the only day-time predator bird on the islands. Their nutrition consists mainly of small animals such as locusts, millipedes and lizards. It is also known that they can attack iguanas and eggs turtles. Nowadays naturalists state that there are only about 200 breeding pairs left in the world.
  • Where: The best places are at Punta Suarez (Española), South Plaza, Santa Fe, and Punta Espinosa (Fernandina).
  • When: All year round. You can see hawks feast on young marine iguanas on Fernandina around January.

Flightless cormorant

Departures every day

  • Flightless cormorant, also known as a Galapagos cormorant is probably the most unusual endemic animal of the Galapagos. The reason is it is the only species of cormorants in the world that has lost the ability to fly. As a result, it reaches quite a big size, being the largest cormorant on Earth.
  • Where: Fernandina Island.
  • When: All year round. Mating season on July.

Blue-footed boobie

  • Blue-footed boobie is easy to distinguish due to the colour of its paws. It is interesting that blue paws are an indicator of the health of birds. The brighter the colour is, the better the bird’s condition is. It is worthy of note that the colour pigment is the result of a fresh fish diet. Half of the whole world's population lives there.
  • Where: Mainly on Seymour Island.
  • When: All year round. Mating season on April – May. Nesting season on June.

Swallow-tailed gull

  • It is the only nocturnal seabird and gull you can ever meet. At night swallow-tailed gull preys on squid and small fish that are swimming close to the surface while eating plankton.
  • Where: On rocky shores and cliffs of Hood, Tower and Wolf Islands and on some other eastern islands.
  • When: All year round.

Galapagos penguins

  • It's the only penguin to naturally be found north of the Equator. Very fortunate snorkelers will get to see them swimming: they're amazingly quick as they dart around, nipping up small fish!
  • Where: Mainly on Fernandina and west Isabela.
  • When: All year round. You can see them on central islands (Bartolome) from May to January.

Galapagos birdwatching tours

The best time for birding in Galapagos may vary depending on your interests. That´s why it is better to custom your Galapagos birding tour with Bespoke Galapagos. We will help you find the very best and experienced for a birdwatching tour, who will be able to come up with the finest itinerary for the season you are going to Galapagos Islands. Contact us to set it up for you.

A great itinerary for birdwatching in Galapagos

This is an example of a 9 days’ itinerary at the Galapagos birdwatching tour:
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As soon as you arrive to the capital of Ecuador, you will be transferred to an airport’s hotel with all the amenities for maximum comfort.

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The next day will begin in Santa Cruz at the Black Turtle Cove, where boats turn off motors leaving only nature and local wildlife around you.

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At the third day you will arrive to the bird paradise on Genovesa Island, where you will see swallow-tailed and lava gulls, mockingbirds, yellow-crowned night herons, lava herons, Galapagos doves and yellow warblers.

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After those marvelous species you will have an opportunity to swim and snorkel with Galapagos Penguins at Pinnacle Rock and Chinese Hat Islands.

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The continuation of Galapagos birdwatching tour takes place at coastal lagoon at Rabida Island, with American Flamingos, White-cheeked Pintails, Galapagos Mockingbird and Dove and Common Cactus-Finch.

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At the following day on Santa Cruz besides breathtaking scenery you will see some endemic species such as: Large Tree-Finch, Woodpecker Finch, Vegetarian Finch and Green Warble-Finch.

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The seventh day will bring you to South Plaza and Santa Fe for observation of cliffs with breeding seabirds. You will see the rituals of Swallow-Tailed Gulls and Red-Billed Tropicbirds.

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The day before your departure you will go to Espanola Island, which houses two breeding sites of Waved Albatross. The number of these birds reaches 30000 which is almost the entire world population.