The end of fledging season for Galapagos albatrosses is nigh, and with it comes the end of a long, team-based that’s shared between albatross parents. Having hatched as early as August/September, Galapagos albatross chicks have spent approximately 5 months growing and getting to a physical state in their lives that allows them to finally spread their wings for the first time and take flight. Read More
Wild Stories from the Middle of King Neptune’s Domain
On my recent trip aboard Yacht La Pinta in the Galapagos Islands (I think it’s my 847th by now), I had the pleasure of meeting a group of Aussies, a couple from South Africa, a fun group sponsored that had been sponsored by a US zoo, plus some other great explorers from various origins. We were also treated to the fact that, on this trip in particular, we got to explore the islands around the same time that Charles Darwin visited them back in 1835. Read More
Whalers in Galapagos – Before oil (petroleum) was discovered, the World was a much darker place. Lights were dim, industries were just being born, machinery was very basic, and combustion of various contraptions relied on whale oil. Consequently, any economic endeavor that was worth investing in was, almost always, related to maritime activities. Read More
When Cetaceans Return to the Galapagos – Whales & Dolphins Back at Tropical Latitudes
Every journey to the archipelago comes packed with numerous and spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. The Galapagos truly is a magical place, thanks in large part to the diverse wildlife that’s around each corner, all throughout the year! And if it’s the bigger animals that you are interested in, then read on, hop in one of the best archipelago’s expedition vessels, and get ready to be seriously impressed by some amazing whales in the Galapagos!
August is starting and, in the Galapagos, wildlife goes on uninterrupted. Such is the case with Galapagos sea lions that are seen throughout the archipelago all year long. This member of our Big15 list of iconic species (not to mention a definitive favourite by both locals and visitors) is probably one of the most photogenic animals in the archipelago. However, it’s probably Galapagos sea lion pups that take the prize for being the cutest animal in the Galapagos. Tiny, furry bodies, big innocent eyes and playful dispositions will steal your heart and occupy most of your Galapagos photo album. Before boarding the magical La Pinta Yacht, read on to learn more about this beautiful animal during pupping season. And try not to melt when you run into one. But beware, we can’t guarantee that you won’t.
Huge and majestic, frigatebirds in the Galapagos are often seen passively dominating the skies, hovering in the gentle carriage of a strong breeze as they survey the world below them. Their huge wings and jet-black colour often make them seem rather ominous, but these gentle giants are actually the most endearing of parents when it comes to their chicks. Given their frequency to being in the air so often, getting a chance to see these giant birds down on the ground with their tiny chicks is actually a pretty special sight to behold in the Galapagos. Read More
A peculiar pair of wings flap frantically into the air without giving any signs of flight, shedding golden drops of water up into the deep blue sky that covers a setting sun. The Flightless Cormorant – an endemic species of the Galapagos whose only homes in the entire world are Fernandina and the western coast of Isabela – is one of the more remarkable evolutionary sights that visitors get to behold when they visit the enchanted isles. Their vestigial wings are but a visual echo of what once served a more airborne purpose and their progeny are but a continuation of that same echo. In order to perpetuate their unique species, the flightless cormorant undergoes a rather intricate series of steps and rituals that add to its captivating mystique.
Necessity is often regarded as the mother of invention, but every now and then it also unfortunately becomes the mother of unabashed destruction. Such is the case with the La Pinta Island tortoise. With only a small vestige of their presence that is the taxidermized remnant of their species, the extinction of the La Pinta Island tortoise is perhaps a permanent blemish on the face of the archipelago that continues to live with us today. Nevertheless, the scars we carry are almost always there to help us learn from the past in some way. In this blog we take a look at this species and the history behind its extinction. Read More
We’ve all dreamt of being able to fly. It’s an longing that probably originated the moment we looked up and marvelled at the birds as they soared across the great blue sky, wondering what it must be like to admire the world from high above. Human imagination and science have both given us the ability to do such a thing, and these have fortunately never been taken it away from us. But what if evolution took that away from the very birds that inspired us to fly? For them, would the fall from grace be as blunt and backwards as it sounds? In the Galapagos, we can visually experience such a case in nature. It seems that only a select group of cormorants in the entire world have been picked for such a peculiar adaptation, and these are the flightless cormorants (Phalacrocorax harrisi) of the Galapagos. In this blog, we briefly sift through the different theories that have been presented to try decipher the mystery behind these cormorants and their long-forgotten ability to fly.