Galapagos Bird Lava Heron

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.

Galapagos Heron Species

Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias)

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

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

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.

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)

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.

Other Species of Herons

  • Black-Crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax Nycticorax)
  • Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis)
  • Great Egret (Egretta Alba)
  • Snowy Egret (Egretta Thula)

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

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

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. Click to order from Amazon

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. Click to order from Amazon

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. Click to order from Amazon

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. Click to order from Amazon

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 Birds in Galapagos

Darwins Finches

Galapagos Hawk

Nazca Boobies

Blue Footed Boobies

Colorful Frigatebirds

Lava Gull Birds

If you have questions about the Galapagos Bird Lava Heron, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Island Tours to visit this Archipelago, you can Contact us here

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