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Galapagos Islands

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Galapagos Islands wildlife, Blue-Footed BoobiesBlue-Footed Booby: The Blue Footed Booby is a tropical seabird that lives in the Galapagos Islands, the Gulf of California, the west coast of Mexico and along the coast of Ecuador and northern Peru. It has beautiful blue webbed feet and is about the size of a goose. They weigh between 3 and 4 pounds, with the female being larger than the male. They can live to be more than 17 years old.

Red-Footed Booby: The smallest booby grows to be 28 in (71 cm) long with a wingspan of 4-½ ft (1.37 m). Most of the Red-Foots are all brown with the exception of red legs and feet and a light blue bill with a red base. A small percent of the red-foots are mistaken for masked boobies with white heads, bodies and wings, red feet and legs, and blue beaks. Colonial in nature the Red-Footed differs from the other boobies by making their nests in small trees and shrubs. Colonies can be found on Tower, Culpepper, Wenman, Gardener-near-Floreana, Punta and Isla Pitt. They are rarely seen in areas other than where they breed. Eggs can be found throughout the year with colonies hatching at the same times.

Masked booby: Masked Boobies are common in the tropics and subtropics nesting in colonies along cliffs or at the sea edge. These are the only boobies in the Galapagos to have an annual breeding cycle, though the cycle varies between islands. On Tower Island most of the eggs are laid between August and November while on Hood Island the eggs are laid from November to February.

Flightless Cormorant: The Galapagos flightless cormorant evolved in an isolated island environment that was free of predators. The birds had no need to fly and eventually became flightless. However, the Galapagos Islands have not remained free of predators, and, consequently, this cormorant is now one of the world’s rarest birds. Through the years, dogs, cats, and pigs were introduced to the Islands and have had a drastic effect on the cormorant population.

Galapagos wildlife, FrigatebirdFrigate Bird: Frigate birds are a highly specialized pelican species with exceptionally long wings and a long forked tail to ensure plenty of control while in flight. At more than three feet in length, the frigate has relatively small legs and feet. Because it is unable to take off from flat ground, it requires a running downhill start to fly. Frigates forage the ocean for food and have been known to snatch flying fish in midair. During mating season, the pouch of the male frigate becomes conspicuously inflated and changes in color from orange to a distinctly brilliant shade of red.

Brown Pelican: The brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is found throughout the islands, skimming over the water, plunge-diving, and resting in mangrove trees. In addition to Galapagos, the brown pelican is found along the western coasts of northen South America, Central America, and North America, and throughout the Caribbean. The Galapagos population of brown pelican is considered to be an endemic subspecies.


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Galapagos penguin