Galapagos Island Bird "Lava Gull"

Galapagos Lava Gull

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galapagos island bird lava gull

The Galapagos Island bird "Lava gull" is Earth's rarest gull.

If you could find the strangest gull on Earth, you must be visiting the Galapagos Islands.

In general, gulls are seabirds highly associated with human impact (garbage dumps, parking lots, etc).

Since they are opportunistic and somewhat scavengers, human inhabitation and development have certainly helped the gulls' establishment and reproductive success.

However, Galapagos does not fit in that scenario, and we even have two gull species: swallow-tail gull (nocturnal feeder) and lava gull.

Lava gulls have an endemic status, since they have only been reported from the Galapagos Archipelago

Their territorial behavior, well camouflaged dark grey plumage, a distinctive loud call (similar to a laughing gull but with a twist), and coastal nesting, make this gull an unusual species.

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Although the Galapagos Islands from Ecuador do have some scavenging resources (dead birds and sea lions), these are not enough for a large population of gulls.

A true ecological equilibrium is seen here with a clear relationship between population size versus the available food sources.

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It is estimated than no more than 400 pairs of gulls inhabit the Islands, and this means its world population. Thus, the reason for calling it the world's strangest gull.

The Islands and sites where this Galapagos Island bird can be best seen, include Santa Cruz Island (National Park dock), James (Puerto Egas), Genovesa ( Darwin Bay), and Fernandina Island (Punta Espinoza).

In many anchoring locations, it is quite common to have them on boat decks as permanent visitors.

Visit Galapagos and enjoy the magic of its natural beauty...

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


More About Galapagos

Galapagos Island Wildlife

Charles Darwin Bicentennial Commemoration

Galapagos Vacation Packages

Economic Galapagos Tours


If you have any questions about the Galapagos Islands, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our excellent Galapagos Tours to visit these famous Islands, You can Contact us here


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