The Galapagos bird Lava Heron (Butorides sundevalli) is and endemic species from these Islands.
Its close relative is the Green Heron which is very common specially in North America.
The World Wildlife Fund states that almost 80 percent of the land birds in the Galapagos Islands are endemic; this means that they can only be seen here.
There are six species of herons found in the Galapagos, five of whom are resident. Several of these species are quite familiar to North Americans specially the great blue heron and the great egret.
The main characteristic of Galapagos Herons is their long legs and the fact that they love to live in a moderate temperature environment. (Usually on river and seashores)
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The Galapagos lava heron feeds on Galapagos Crabs small fish, Lava Lizards marine iguanas, small birds and baby turtles.
The common color of the Galapagos lava heron is dark gray and sometimes is hard to spot because they hide in the seashore between the lava rocks standing motionless waiting to grab their prey.
It is the biggest of the Galapagos herons, with an average height of 1.4 mts high. This Galapagos bird can be seen nesting on most of the larger Islands in Galapagos.
It is the same species that is found all along the American Continent. It is a fierce and proficient predator and feeds mainly on small fish, lizards, marine iguanas and green sea turtle hatchlings. More about the Great Blue Heron
This Galapagos bird feeds on insects and can be seen mainly in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, catching bugs at night.
Beside the seashores, this heron can also be spotted on the highlands of Isabela Island where it goes for feeding on grasshoppers and other large insects.
This heron is also very common to see in the Galapagos Islands especially in the tidal pools of some islands, mangroves, and of course in the rocky shores.
The top of this bird is black with a cream color breast and its wing feathers are mottled. Scientists are still investigating the fact whether the Galapagos lava heron is a successor of the Striated heron or not.
The Striate heron is not a Galapagos endemic species thus it can be seen almost in every continent of the world.
They feed on small fish and crustaceans. A curious fact about this bird is that sometimes for feeding purposes it drops a leaf into the water to call fish attention and catch them.
The Galapagos bird Lava Heron as well as many other birds in these islands is an endemic species. More about other Endemic Birds in Galapagos
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