Galapagos Waved Albatross

The Waved Albatross and its courtship ritual in Galapagos can be labeled as impressive, attractive and even comical at times.


Waved Albatross

galapagos waved albatross

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In Galapagos, the arrival of the Islands' largest bird is more than just an arrival. It is in fact, about the start of many other natural events.

For instance, the arrival of albatross birds tells us that the southeast trade winds are on their way, and thus the beginning of the dry season is just around the corner.

This also means that the hot season is officially ending, and that the islands will turn arid in just about 2 more weeks or so.

Thus, we can conclude that the Galapagos Islands are a world of perpetual change.

If there's one event that can be labeled impressive, attractive and even comical at times, it must be the courtship ritual of the waved albatross.

Such courtship is more than just a mere reproductive prelude.

It is, without a doubt, one of the most important Galapagos Attractions of the wildlife on these Islands, and it only occurs in the months of April, May and June of each year.

Finding a mate on Espanola Island is no easy task, the terrain is quite irregular and there's plenty of dry brush from the previous hot season.

Nevertheless, male waved albatrosses manage to arrive first, and patiently wait for females to arrive.

Once together, courtship is an elaborate set of cues given by one individual and followed by the other potential mate.

This orchestrated set of moves is then repeated, but in reverse by the former mate.

A series of strange noises that may resemble geese and a set of horn-like sounds can be heard all over the Island.

Part of the courtship even includes some bill fencing (very attractive yellow bills by the way), ending with a superb sky point and a sheer drop of the neck and head towards the back of the wing.

Here, some preening of the primary feather of the wing takes place, and it is all back to where they started. The complete set can last as long as 45 minutes.

The week-long Tours of Santa Cruz Ship and the luxury Isabela II Yacht include Espanola Island, which is where you can see the nesting colony of the Galapagos waved albatross.

Also, the Friday to Monday tours on board the Santa Cruz Cruise Ship will make a regular stop at this unique location.

See a Gallery of Stunning Pictures of Galapagos Islands

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 About Galapagos:

Weather in Galapagos

Robert Fitzroy from the HMS Beagle

Plants of the Galapagos Islands

Economic Galapagos Trips

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If you have questions about the Galapagos Waved Albatross, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Tour Packages to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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