Archive for Galapagos Islands

Magnificent Frigates, Blue-Footed Boobies, Finches and More: A Birder’s Paradise in the Galápagos

Guest Post by Vickie Lillo

American Oystercathers on the beach

The sky overhead darkens momentarily as I take off my snorkeling fins, balancing myself against a protruding root from a manglar (mangrove tree). Darkens enough to cast a quick shadow.  Not from passing clouds or remnants of the garúa mist floating down from the highlands, but from a syncopated formation of turquoise webbed feet and azure beaks.  I feel like I’m in an exotic rendition of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, ‘The Birds’, as I watch blue-footed boobies dive bombing for fish off the cove at Tortuga Bay, here on Santa Cruz, the main isle of the Galápagosbirds. 

I’ve never considered myself a bird-watcher of any note before, but the extraordinary aviary on this archipelago 600 miles from South America has changed my perspective.  Wrapping a beach towel around my waist, I straddle a downed tree trunk, content to languish in the shade and watch the native fowl.  An American oystercatcher, orange bill and all, strolls across the sand, plucking microscopic specks of food from the muck.  A yellow warbler flitters amongst the foliage where I’m sitting, inches from my mask.  Unperturbed by my presence. Read More→