Galapagos Gulls

North Seymour Frigates and Boobies

The Galapagos Islands are often times such a unique and wonderful place in the world that they can easily surpass your expectations. If you are really lucky – which can be common in the archipelago – you might be able to see an unbelievable amount of Big 15 species and some amazing panoramas in one short visit. On this occasion, we got to see some amazing North Seymour frigates and boobies in action!

Touch Down

What most visitors don’t know is that Mother Nature has a surprise waiting for us on every island we disembark on. This time on North Seymour Island was no exception.  On this occasion we had a couple of guests that had decided to stay with us for two itineraries and even for them – who had already visited many islands with us in the last days – it turned out to be an amazing day. The truth is there is never a dull day in the Galapagos.

North Seymour

North Seymour

After a little precipitous, yet adventurous, wet landing on a natural dock made of beautiful black rocks, we climbed a couple of natural steps towards the trail. Right there and all through the coastline following the small cliffs there where many swallow-tailed gulls. Some where standing by themselves, while others were standing in couples, big groups or little groups. We got a glimpse of some of them flying or sleeping, and we even got to see some cute chicks with their fluffy feathers on display.

I think animals in the Galapagos are not really surprised by our presence as we are by theirs.

Dangerous Neighbourhood

We continued our walk following the trail and left the gulls behind. But not a minute had even passed before we started spotting many other species all over the place in large numbers.  There were frigates – both great and magnificent – everywhere. Some were just flying around looking to steal a catch from other birds, while others where simply perched on a bush or tree. There were a lot of male frigates proudly displaying their huge and colourful red pouches, trying to find a female to mate with. Other lucky frigate couples were calmly sleeping next to each other atop their nest. Some were just starting to build their nest, and we could observe them carrying little twigs and branches which they would later use to make the nest strong and sturdy. Some males were just sitting in their own bachelor club singing and attempting to impress any daring female that happened to fly by.  All these gorgeous frigates decorated the landscape with their busy motions and beautiful black, white and red tones.

North Seymour Frigates and Boobies

North Seymour Frigates and Boobies

Blue Nation

Finally, one of the last species that caught our attention was the blue-footed booby. We got the opportunity not only to see them in very big numbers, but we also happened to see many blue-footed booby chicks. Just like the frigates, they were busy going through their daily activities, such as flying around and finding food – while escaping the mischievous frigates who always try to steal their catch – or just lazily waking on land with their characteristic, goofy-looking walk.

We also got to see them bust their awesome moves out as part of their famous mating ritual. The male booby showed off his awesome blue feet in order to try to impress the female. The bluer the feet, the better the chance to find a mate. And not far from the dancing scene we even caught a booby couple red-handed while they were mating (sorry to interrupt guys!). The event was over really soon though, but our guests had a lot of fun with it (and some amazing photos to take back home with them, too).

Boobies caught in the act

Boobies caught in the act

It was amazing to see this much movement in one place. This visit to North Seymour definitely raised the bar while also setting the tone for all our other adventures that were yet to come.

Martín Barreiro

Martin Barreiro, born and raised in Quito in 1982, began studying photography as soon as he got out of high school. Soon after this, he found himself with the opportunity to live in London, England, which is where he continued his career in photography while experiencing the European culture. Afterwards, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he got a degree as a Professional Commercial Photographer.

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