Galapagos Coastal Birds

The Galapagos Coastal Birds can be seen in the beaches, rocky shores, and mangrove lagoons of the Galapagos Islands.


Some coastal birds are migrants and are not permanent residents of the Galapagos Islands. For these birds, the Galapagos is an oasis where they stop to feed during long migrations.

The Oystercatchers for example are present all year around and nest along the coastline of Galapagos. These Galapagos birds make their living in the inter tidal zone, feeding mainly on crustaceans and mollusks. Oystercatchers are able to open crab shells whit their strong beaks.

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The Galapagos Coastal Birds are a diverse group of shore birds, waders, waterfowl and lagoon birds. The coast of these Islands provides a home to this diverse group of birds. You can also find some endemic species of among these birds in this Archipelago.

Galapagos birds are classified in 3 main categories:

There are around 140 species of birds in the Galapagos Islands. 58 species are residential, 76 migratory and 6 introduced. Up to 50% of Galapagos resident birds are endemic to theses Islands.

Some of these species are currently threatened due to factors associated with human presence. And introduced animals like dogs and goats.

You can differentiate resident Galapagos birds from migratory or Galapagos coastal birds by the capacity of tolerance the resident birds have developed. It is common for coastal birds not to allow a person to get too close to them.

Galapagos land birds instead are most likely to actually approach humans because of their human fearless nature.

The majority of animals you will see in Galapagos are birds. These Islands are a paradise for birdwatching lovers. The Galapagos is home to a variety of sea, coastal, and land birds including three species of Boobies, Penguins, Finches, Flightless Cormorants, and Waved Albatross. See More Galapagos Birds

Galapagos Greater Flamingo

They are easy to recognize by their long legs, pink color and long necks.

These birds are present in all major lagoons of this Archipelago.

Flamingos are very shy birds (unlike much wildlife in Galapagos).

They love privacy specially when they are breeding and you cannot get too close to them and will normally only be viewed at some distance.

A pair of binoculars would be a good aid to observe these birds.

Galapagos Lava Heron

This is the only endemic heron bird of the Galapagos. Lava Herons are small birds with dark wings and back and their legs have an orange color.

They feed mainly on small fish, crabs, lizards and insects. These Galapagos coastal birds can be seen on the coast and lagoons.

Great Blue Heron

These Galapagos birds can be found nesting on most of the bigger Islands like Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.

Great blue herons, (Ardea herodias) have a wingspan of almost two meters.

It is a fierce and very efficient predator feeding mainly on marine iguanas, lava lizards and common fish.

Galapagos Coastal Birds Classification

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Lava Heron
  • Yellow Crested Night Heron
  • Galapagos Flamingo
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Willet
  • Whimbrel
  • Black Necked Stilt

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!


If you have questions regarding the Galapagos Coastal Birds or if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here

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