The Galapagos Ground Finch is endemic to this group of beautiful Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
These birds have strong beaks which are useful for feeding from seeds. The Galapagos finches eat parasites from the backs of Land Iguanas,
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There is an interesting finch bird on Wolf Island, it is the Sharp Beaked Ground Finch.
This bird is known as the Vampire Finch because it pecks the flesh of the backs of masked boobies, red footed boobies and Blue Footed Boobies to feed on their blood.
Other species like the Woodpecker finch and Mangrove finch use small brushwood or a cactus spine to pull out the larva found in dead tree branches.
These are the only birds in the world that use this technique and it is quite a view to observe them feeding.
Male ground finches are black while the female finches are brownish. There are four species of Galapagos ground finches:
1) Sharp-Beaked Finch: (Geospiza nebulosa) belong to the highlands of the central and western islands.
This ground finch is called the vampire finch, for its feeding habit of drinking blood from boobies.
2) Small Ground Finch: (Geospiza fuliginosa) is very common throughout the Galapagos Islands except on Genovesa Island and Darwin Island.
3) Medium Ground Finch: (Geospiza fortis) can be seen in the major Islands (Isabela, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal) except in the smaller ones like Espanola or Genovesa.
4) Large Ground Finch: (Geospiza magnirostris) is less common and can be found only in the bigger Islands.
All these finch species have similar appearance, color and behavior.
It is a real challenge for birdwatchers to differentiate or guess the species to which each Galapagos ground finch belongs.
In total there are 13 species of Galapagos Finches which are classified by groups:
Ground finches, Tree finches, Vegetarian finches, Cactus finches and Mangrove finches.
The size of the Galapagos ground finch as most of other finch species is about 10 to 20 cm. Finches are similar in appearance but can be identified mainly by the form of their beaks.
Ground Finch Classification
The Galapagos ground finch is part of the amazing Galapagos Wildlife When you visit the Islands you will have the opportunity to see them all around you, look at their beaks and try to identify the species to which they belong.
It's a fun task to try to identify them after being there a while, though it is not easy, especially with the Galapagos ground finch.
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If you have any questions about Galapagos Birds or these Islands, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to explore this Archipelago, You can Contact us here