Day 2 |
Oct 13, 2013

Genovesa Island

By Tommy Acosta, Naturalist

Weather: Partially Cloudy
Air Temperature: 22ºC
Pressure: 921 hPa
Wind: 9 knots

Genovesa Island is one of the most visited places in the Galapagos Islands.

Migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere frequent the already crowded cliffs where Nazca boobies nest.

This Island is different from many others because it is one of the best places for marine birds to nest and one of the most remote places in the entire archipelago. In fact the largest population of red footed boobies is found here and nowhere else in the Islands, which is the reason why we call it “a Birds Island”.

This morning, the fresh ocean breeze warmed me up before we disembarked to Darwin’s beach, as part of the unusual welcome committee one swallowed tail gull had a brand new addition to the colony. There was a nest with a brand new chick. Along with him both parents very delicately removed excess of nesting material for their offspring.

As I observed through the red mangroves forest we noticed some juveniles Red Footed Boobies. Their parents were probably far away catching flying fish and anchovies, their regular food supply found several miles away into the deep ocean.

Both of our snorkelling from the beach and deep water where teeming of plankton and all sorts of tropical fishes, including the white tip reef sharks. Our resident photographer David managed to capture good footage of them. Everyone was surprised to see that many basking on the sandy bottom.

In the afternoon walk along the lava flows and a strange bird of prey we mentioned before to our guests was finally found. The short-eared owl is the most impressive predator in Genovesa. It hunts during the entire day in search of small birds that use the crevices in the hardened lava as nesting ground. They are mainly Maderian and Band Rump Storm Pertrels.

The storm petrels learned to avoid most dangers as they fly in erratic’s in order to avoid falling pray of the owls! They are successful in most cases. However, owls learned to wait in their crevices instead of wasting precious energy trying to catch during flight.

Our naturalist Cesar Bucheli with his keen eyes noticed the first one in a remote cave at a probably distance of 200 yards.

We were once again delighted by the overwhelming nature