Cactus Darwin Finch
Chatham mocking bird (endemic)
Vegetarian Darwin Finch
Woodpecker Darwin finch
Cactus Darwin finch
Small ground Darwin finch
Warbler Darwin finch
Tree Darwin finch
White cheeked pintail (endemic)
Common Galinule gallinulla chloropus (endemic)
Smooth billed arni (introdu ced)
Galapagos storm petrel
Galapagos or lava heron
Great blue heron
Yellow crowned night heron
Nazca booby (now recognized as a different species to the masked booby)
Blue footed booby
Red footed booby
Magnificent frigate bird
Great frigate bird
Semi palmated plover
Red billed tropic bird
Elliots storm petrel
We had a day with a local guide called Wilson Roja, who took us to the bird locations. This tour was organized by Sharksky especially for ourselves and was excellent.
We saw most of the Darwin finches that live on San Christobal, and many endemic species. The land tortoise rehab centre was good for these species.
A highlight was viewing the frigate birds washing in the fresh water volcano lake (El Junco).
We had been under the impression that as the frigate bird finds it so difficult to launch into flight, it does not land in water. Not true. They in fact, come to the fresh water lake to clean the salt from their plumage.
They drop into the water for some seconds, take off and soar to a great height, then go into freefall, violently shaking their wings and feathers as they plummet.
They pull out of their fall as they get nearer to the ground.
At Los Loberia, a beach on the south coast, we saw a surprising number of seabirds.
The Darwin finches are another story. Now they have been identified as tanagers. Every type of finch relates back to a pair of blue black type quits, but they have all adapted differently.
While many all eat the same food in the good years, when everything dries up they have adapted to survive in their own unique way.
The vampire finch has adapted to suck blood from red or blue footed boobies, the wood pecker finch uses a stick as a tool to extract lavae from the trunks of dead trees, yet another has learnt to survive on the lice from the giant land tortoises and iguanas.
Adaptability is the key, and it is the beaks that have primarily adapted in varying ways to suit the conditions of their particular terrain..