Birds of Galápagos

Have you heard? The Galápagos Islands are overflowing with unique bird species. Many of the birds found across the archipelago cannot be found anywhere else in the world. When you explore, look out for these unique species. Depending on the season in which you are travelling, you will have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife.

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There are almost 60 native species of birds that are found across the Galápagos Islands. In addition to the native breeds, there are dozens of birds that migrate through the islands on a regular basis. The migratory breeds typically pause in the archipelago between the months of October and March. By using the checklist below, you can determine the birds that you need to stay on the lookout for during your expedition.


Finches are one of the most idyllic birds to be found across Galápagos. They were part of the original reasoning behind the Theory of Evolution. In the winter months, you can find the thirteen types of finches nesting over the islands.

Galápagos Penguins

Although the penguins found in the archipelago thrive in all seasons, they typically migrate to cooler waters during the winter months. The Galápagos penguin is the only type of penguin that lives north of the equator. These small penguins can be found diving near the shorelines, specifically on Isabela Island.


Flamingos nest during the winter months. These birds can be found resting on specific island territories, such as Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Florena Island.

Frigate Birds

There are two types of frigate birds that reside in the archipelago. Frigates have one of the most unique mating rituals of any animal. With their red throat sacs, the month of March is often one of the best times to view these creatures.

Flightless Cormorants

One of the Big 15 animal species of the archipelago, these birds are the only one, out of 29 variations of cormorants, that cannot fly. During nesting season, these birds are as docile as they will ever be.

Galápagos Hawk

Although hawks are typically conspicuous breeds, their mating season is often the best time to see them interact in rare form.

Galápagos Penguin

This breed of penguins is active during the autumn months. These birds move towards the central islands to begin their season of breeding.

Waved Albatross

One of the Big 15 animals on the Galápagos Islands, the waved albatross has a unique dance routine that is enacted during mating season.

Blue-Footed & Red-Footed Booby

There are three distinct types of booby birds. The blue-footed and red-footed species have vibrant feet that they use to perform a fancy foot dance that they use to attract mates in the spring months.  

Short-eared Owls 

Both barn owls and short-eared owls can be found across the islands. Short-eared owls across the island begin to settle in to prepare for mating season. 

Lava Herons

Because of the terrain of many of the islands, small birds must endure tough conditions. Lava Herons nest during the month of October. 

Storm Petrels 

There are eight types of storm petrels, and each type nests twice a year. Towards the end of the year, they retract for the second time. 

Blue-Footed Booby 

Towards the end of the year, you have the opportunity to see blue-footed booby chicks venture from their nests. Unfortunately, many of the parent birds are primarily fishing offshore.

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