List of 20 Birds of the Galapagos Islands – Galapagos Bird

Discover the Fascinating Birds of Galapagos
Discover the Fascinating Birds of Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are home to many special birds. These islands, far from the mainland, have helped birds grow in unique ways. Let’s explore 20 amazing birds you can find in the Galapagos!

1. Galapagos Penguin

The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin that lives north of the equator. These small, black and white birds swim in the cool waters around the islands.

Fun fact: Galapagos penguins are the second smallest penguin species in the world.

2. Blue-footed Booby

Blue-footed boobies are known for their bright blue feet. They use these colorful feet in mating dances to attract partners.

Where to find them: You can see blue-footed boobies on many islands, including Isabela and Santa Cruz.

3. Galapagos Hawk

The Galapagos hawk is a big bird of prey. It hunts small animals and plays an important role in the island ecosystem.

Did you know? The Galapagos hawk is the top predator on the islands.

4. Waved Albatross

The waved albatross is the largest bird in the Galapagos. These big seabirds have long wings that help them glide over the ocean for hours.

Important info: Waved albatrosses only nest on Española Island.

5. Flightless Cormorant

This special bird can’t fly! The flightless cormorant has small wings but is a great swimmer and diver.

Where to spot them: Look for these birds on Fernandina and Isabela Islands.

6. Galapagos Flamingo

Galapagos flamingos are bright pink birds that stand on one leg in shallow lagoons. They filter small plants and animals from the water to eat.

Cool fact: Flamingos get their pink color from the food they eat.

7. Frigatebird

Frigatebirds are known for their red throat pouches that males puff up to attract females. They often steal food from other birds.

Types to see: Great frigatebird and Magnificent frigatebird

8. Darwin’s Finches

Darwin’s finches are a group of small birds that helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution. There are 13 species of these finches in the Galapagos.

Fun fact: Each finch species has a different beak shape to help it eat different foods.

9. Galapagos Dove

The Galapagos dove is a pretty bird with blue rings around its eyes. It spends a lot of time on the ground looking for seeds and fruits.

Where to find them: You can see these doves on most of the main islands.

10. Galapagos Mockingbird

Mockingbirds in the Galapagos are curious and bold. They often come close to visitors and can mimic many sounds.

Did you know? There are four different species of mockingbird in the Galapagos.

11. Galapagos Petrel

The Galapagos petrel is a seabird that spends most of its time over the ocean. It only comes to land to nest in burrows on high islands.

Important info: This bird is endangered due to introduced predators on the islands.

12. Red-footed Booby

Like their blue-footed cousins, red-footed boobies have colorful feet. They are good at diving for fish and can often be seen perched in trees.

Where to spot them: Genovesa Island is a great place to see red-footed boobies.

13. Lava Gull

The lava gull is one of the rarest gulls in the world. It has dark gray feathers and a black head, which helps it blend in with the lava rocks.

Fun fact: There are only about 400 lava gulls left in the wild.

14. Galapagos Short-eared Owl

This owl hunts during the day, which is unusual for owls. It eats small birds, rats, and lizards.

Where to find them: Look for these owls on open land areas of the islands.

15. Nazca Booby

Nazca boobies are big seabirds with white bodies and black wing tips. They are known for their skillful diving to catch fish.

Cool fact: Nazca boobies often lay two eggs, but usually only one chick survives.

16. Galapagos Martin

The Galapagos martin is a small swallow that catches insects in flight. It’s one of the less common birds to see in the Galapagos.

Where to spot them: Look for these birds flying over open areas on the larger islands.

17. Vermilion Flycatcher

The vermilion flycatcher is a small bird with bright red feathers. It’s easy to spot because of its colorful appearance.

Did you know? Male vermilion flycatchers are much brighter red than females.

18. Galapagos Rail

The Galapagos rail is a shy bird that likes to hide in thick plants. It’s hard to see, but you might hear its loud calls.

Fun fact: This bird can barely fly and prefers to run quickly through dense vegetation.

19. Brown Noddy

Brown noddies are seabirds that nest on cliffs and rocks near the shore. They have dark brown feathers and a white cap on their heads.

Where to find them: Look for these birds near coastal areas on many of the islands.

20. Red-billed Tropicbird

The red-billed tropicbird is a beautiful white bird with a long tail and a bright red beak. It’s known for its graceful flight over the ocean.

Cool fact: These birds can plunge into the water from high up to catch fish.

Table list of 50 birds of the Galapagos:

Table for 50 birds of the Galapagos, including their cool features, best places to see them, and fun facts:

Name of BirdsCool FeatureBest Place to SeeFun Fact
Galapagos PenguinOnly penguin species north of the equatorFernandina and Isabela IslandsThey are the second smallest penguin species in the world.
Blue-footed BoobyBright blue feetNorth Seymour IslandTheir blue feet come from the nutrients in the fresh fish they eat.
Galapagos HawkTop predator on the islandsEspañola, Fernandina, and IsabelaFemales mate with up to 7 males who all help with incubation and feeding the young.
Waved AlbatrossLargest wingspan of any bird in the GalapagosEspañola IslandThey can fly 49,700 miles without touching land.
Flightless CormorantCannot fly but excellent swimmerFernandina and Isabela IslandsThey have small wings that are not suitable for flight.
Galapagos FlamingoVibrant pink colorFloreana, Isabela, Santiago, RabidaThey can only feed with their heads upside down.
Galapagos MockingbirdCurious natureEspañola and San CristóbalThey have a unique family unit where juveniles help feed the hatchlings.
Darwin’s FinchDiverse beak shapes and sizesThroughout the islandsInspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Red-footed BoobyRed feetGenovesa IslandThey are the smallest of the booby species in the Galapagos.
Nazca BoobyBlack-tipped wingsEspañola IslandThey are the largest booby species in the Galapagos.
Great FrigatebirdImpressive wingspanNorth Seymour IslandMales have a red throat pouch that they inflate during courtship displays.
Magnificent FrigatebirdLong wingspanNorth Seymour, Floreana, IsabelaKnown for their aerial acrobatics and stealing food from other birds.
Lava HeronBlends in with volcanic rocksThroughout the islandsFavorite food includes Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Yellow WarblerBright yellow plumageWidespreadMales have a rust-colored streak on the crown.
Galapagos DoveReddish-brown plumageArid zones on most islandsRecognized by its red feet and striking blue eye ring.
Vermilion FlycatcherBright red maleHighlands of Santa Cruz, IsabelaMost abundant from December to May during the warm and wet season.
American OystercatcherLong, bright orange beakRocky shores of the islandsThey have a distinctive call that sounds like a loud, high-pitched whistle.
Lava GullDark plumageScavenging along the shoresOne of the rarest gulls in the world.
Galapagos CrakeSmall and elusiveHighlands of the main islandsKnown for their secretive nature and are rarely seen.
Galapagos FlycatcherDistinctive crestMain islands except GenovesaKnown to approach people and feed on insects.
Brown PelicanLarge brown birdCentral IslandsCatches food by diving and scooping small fish in its large beak.
Red-billed TropicbirdLong white tail feathersGenovesa, South PlazaBrilliant red bill and long tail feathers reaching up to 20 inches.
Galapagos PetrelLong-distance flightsHighlands of the islandsEndangered seabird that nests in the highlands.
Dark-billed CuckooDark colorationSanta Cruz, Charles Darwin Research StationFeeds on insects in densely vegetated regions.
Yellow-crowned Night HeronDistinctive black head with tan crownWidespread except Darwin & WolfOften seen balancing on one leg.
Greater FlamingoLarge pink birdIsabela, Santa Cruz, Floreana, RabidaPopulation on the islands hovers around 500.
American FlamingoBright pink colorShallow lagoons of the islandsThey filter-feed on small organisms in the water.
Galapagos Short-eared OwlHunts during the dayGenovesa IslandFeeds on Storm Petrels, Lava Lizards, and even small Boobies or Marine Iguanas.
Galapagos AlbatrossLarge wingspanEspañola IslandKnown for their elaborate courtship dance.
Galapagos ShearwaterLong-distance flightsIsabela IslandOften seen gliding over the ocean.
Swallow-tailed GullRed eye ringGenovesa IslandThe only nocturnal gull in the world.
Dark-rumped PetrelLarge white rumpHighlands of the islandsAlso known as the Galapagos Petrel.
Galapagos RailSmall, secretive birdHighlands of Santa CruzKnown for their distinctive call.
Galapagos MartinDark plumageThroughout the islandsOften seen flying over open water.
Galapagos Storm PetrelLarge white rumpGenovesa, San CristobalAlso known as Wedge-rumped Storm Petrel.
Common Cactus FinchLarge beakThroughout the islandsFeeds on cactus flowers and fruits.
Sharp-beaked Ground FinchSharp beakThroughout the islandsKnown for their aggressive behavior.
Small Ground FinchSmall beakThroughout the islandsFeeds on seeds and insects.
Medium Ground FinchMedium-sized beakThroughout the islandsKnown for their varied diet.
Large Ground FinchLarge beakThroughout the islandsFeeds on hard seeds and nuts.
Mangrove FinchSmall, dark birdFernandina IslandOne of the rarest birds in the Galapagos.
Española Cactus FinchLarge beakEspañola IslandFeeds on cactus flowers and fruits.
Genovesa Ground FinchSharp beakGenovesa IslandKnown for their aggressive behavior.
Genovesa Cactus FinchLarge beakGenovesa IslandFeeds on cactus flowers and fruits.
Woodpecker FinchUses tools to extract insectsThroughout the islandsKnown for their tool-using behavior.
Large Tree FinchLarge beakThroughout the islandsFeeds on insects and fruits.
Medium Tree FinchMedium-sized beakThroughout the islandsKnown for their varied diet.
Small Tree FinchSmall beakThroughout the islandsFeeds on insects and fruits.
Vegetarian FinchLarge beakThroughout the islandsFeeds mainly on plant material.

This table provides a comprehensive overview of 50 notable bird species found in the Galapagos Islands, including their unique features, best places to see them, and interesting facts.

Galapagos Bird Watching Tips

To make the most of your bird watching trip in the Galapagos:

  1. Bring binoculars
  2. Wear neutral colors
  3. Move slowly and quietly
  4. Go with a naturalist guide
  5. Visit different islands to see more species
  6. Respect the birds’ space

Protecting Galapagos Birds

Many Galapagos birds face threats from:

  • Introduced animals like cats and rats
  • Climate change
  • Plastic pollution in the ocean

To help protect these special birds:

  • Support conservation efforts
  • Follow park rules when visiting
  • Spread awareness about Galapagos birds


The Galapagos Islands are a special place for bird lovers. With so many unique species, you’re sure to see amazing birds on your visit. Remember to respect these birds and their home so future visitors can enjoy them too!


Q: What are some of the most notable bird species found in the Galapagos Islands?

A: Some notable bird species found in the Galapagos Islands include the blue-footed booby, the Galapagos albatross, the magnificent frigatebird, and various species of Galapagos finches. These birds are often endemic to the islands, making them unique to this region.

Q: Can you see migratory birds in the Galapagos Islands?

A: Yes, the Galapagos Islands are home to both endemic species and migratory birds. Certain species, such as the swallow-tailed gull and various types of shorebirds, migrate to and from the islands throughout the year.

Q: What is the best way to see birds in the Galapagos?

A: The best way to see birds in the Galapagos Islands is through a Galapagos cruise. These cruises stop at multiple islands, allowing you to see a variety of bird habitats and species, including those on islands of Fernandina and Isabela.

Q: What are some common sea birds of the Galapagos?

A: Common sea birds of the Galapagos include the blue-footed booby, the red-footed booby, and the magnificent frigatebird. These sea birds are often seen along the coastlines and sometimes even from a Galapagos cruise.

Q: Who are the Galapagos finches and why are they important?

A: The Galapagos finches, also known as Darwin’s finches, are a group of species of finch that played a crucial role in Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Each species has a unique beak shape adapted to their specific feeding habits, demonstrating evolution in action.

Q: What endemic species of birds can be found throughout the Galapagos?

A: Endemic bird species found throughout the Galapagos Islands include the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin, and the lava heron. These birds have adapted to the unique environment of the Galapagos Archipelago.

Q: How does the presence of invasive species affect the bird population in the Galapagos Islands?

A: Invasive species can have a detrimental effect on the bird population in the Galapagos Islands by competing for resources, preying on native birds, and introducing diseases. Efforts to control and eliminate invasive species are critical to the preservation of Galapagos bird species.

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I absolutely adore birds, especially lovebirds, and I’m passionate about exploring forests for bird watching. I wanted to create a space for fellow bird lovers to connect, learn, and share experiences.