The Santa Cruz II follows carefully planned itineraries, and at every site there are organized activities for our guests to enjoy. Of course, all activities take place outdoors where the most amazing wildlife awaits to surprise us at every corner. Animals roam freely everywhere in the Galapagos. Sometimes we get to see them in large groups, other times, just a couple of individuals. However, there is never a dull day! Trails on uninhabited islands are designed to allow visitors to see the most wildlife activity, while not disturbing their habitat. That is why it is so important to stay inside the trail at all times. The Galapagos are so full of life you never know when you could be stepping on a sea turtle nest or getting too close to some baby mockingbirds nest.
The Right Time
On this occasion, as part of our itinerary, we visited the beautiful island of Rabida for our morning outing. Our first activity included a leisurely hike around the island following a beautiful trail. Strategically-placed viewpoints along this trail showcase some of the most amazing and breath-taking landscapes of the island. Rabida is home to a unique red sand beach where we saw some sea lions basking under the sun. Other species that inhabit the island are finches and doves that we spotted jumping from one branch to the other. Pelicans and frigate birds were seen flying high in the blue sky. And it is not uncommon to get a glimpse of very unafraid mockingbirds that get very close to humans. Even though it is forbidden by the Galapagos National Park to get too close to the animals or touch them, on this occasion we even had one land on one of our guest’s shoes. There is nothing we can do when it is them who cannot stop their curiosity!
The Right Place
We were getting very close to one of the best viewpoints on the trail, when suddenly the naturalist guide leading our group spotted a mockingbird’s nest on top of a frankincense tree. He pointed it to us in case we wanted to check it out. It’s common to see nests on this type of tree, however this particular nest was special. We immediately observed something fluffy moving inside the nest. There was a tiny chick patiently waiting for its parents to come back to feed it. While we were standing there, an adult mockingbird approached the nest and proceeded to get in it, confirming our doubts that it was indeed one of the parents. As soon as it landed two more heads popped out of the nest and the mockingbird started feeding all three of them taking turns. This lasted for a while and everyone in the group had a chance to see it and take some amazing photos.
Beautiful Baby Mockingbirds
A professional photographer in the group was definitely having the best time and she took many photos of the little guys being fed. Even though part of the group decided to go on to the viewpoint, the photographer and three other people stayed behind. At that moment a second mockingbird carrying a red fruit on its beak landed on the very same nest. However, this second bird only fed one of the starving chicks. We observed the nest a little while longer before continuing with our hike. Everyone had a smile on their face. It was amazing to see so much life and movement in such a tiny spot.
Life in the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands are an amazing place, full of surprises everywhere you look. Because of their advantageous location on the Pacific Ocean, where sea and wind currents converge, they are filled with life. But that also means the weather can be unpredictable at times. It’s not that you could get a tropical storm during the Galapagos dry season, but some days the sky might be covered in clouds and others, it might be completely clear. No matter the weather condition, it doesn’t get in the way of spotting any of the Big15 amazing animals and any other Galapagos species. In the Galapagos, any day is a good day to enjoy what this incredible place has to offer.