June 19, 2001 - Tuesday - Tower Island (Genovesa)

Tower Island (Genovesa) - "Bird Island"; masked boobies, tropic birds, great frigatebirds, Darwin's finches, Galapagos doves, endemic red-footed boobies (only boobies to nest in trees; webbed feet curl around tree branches), sea lions and fur lions.

At Tower Island, we did a morning snorkel and drove by panga by the edges of some lava flows. There we found the red footed boobies - red webbed feet that hold onto tree branches.

Click for enlarged photo Click for enlarged photo Other birds included the masked boobies with white feathers and black masks around the eyes.

Small Galapagos gulls.

Galapagos nightingales, with a yellow ribbon on the chest.

Especially interesting were the magnificent frigate birds (photo, below right) - the males have the bright red gills that are inflated with air to attract females. We saw a number of "late blooming" frigate birds, still trying to attract females to their chosen nesting area, long after mating season is over in spring (photo, below left).

Click for enlarged photoClick for enlarged photo

At night we went south again from Tower Island, crossing the equator once more. Another very rough night of long distance travel. We are anchored in a nice cove of Plaza Island, just to the east of Santa Cruz. The sea lions are romping in the ocean all around us.