Galapagos Day 7 - Genovesa - Tower

A pair of Swallow-tailed Gulls with chick on Genovesa. This nocturnal gull specializes in feeding at sea at night. 17 November 2011.


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From the panga we saw Galapagos Fur Seals.


Galapagos Fur Seal resting on rocks near Prince Philip's Steps.


At the top of the cliff, we followed well marked trails that led us through colonies of birds.


An inquisitive Galapagos Mockingbird almost landed on Brian's hat.


The subspecies of mockingbird found only on Genovesa is Nesomimus parvulus bauri.


Lava Cactus grows in cracks in lava. It is one the first plants to colonize after a fresh flow of lava.


Prince Philip's Steps are steep and carved into the cliff, but we all made it safely back to our panga.


Genovesa Finches

Four species of finches are on Genovesa: Large Ground-Finch, Large Cactus-Finch, Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch, and Warbler Finch.

Large Ground-Finch at Darwin Bay.


Large Cactus-Finch at Darwin Bay.


Warbler Finch at Darwin Bay


Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch at Darwin Bay on Genovesa. Also known as Vampire Finch on two islands, Darwin and Wolf, it eats the parasites on Nazca Boobies and uses its sharp beak to peck into flesh at the base of feathers and drink blood. It rolls boobies' eggs to break them open and consume the nutrient-rich contents. See video links below.


The black mark on the side of this Nazca Booby's head is a parasite. Vampire Finches eat these parasites.


Watch these two fascinating videos about Vampire Finches