Friday, April 15, 2016

Adios Galápagos 4.0

While I was in Floreana, I found out that I was awarded the Phyllis and Eileen Gibbs Travelling Research Fellowship from Newnham College. This funding will allow me to continue my field research in the Galápagos next year, and thus, as I bid adios to the Galápagos this year, I'm excited to say there will be a Galápagos 5.0!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Sofia and Speant four days on Floreana, and it is a lovely island. The permanent population there is only 100 people, so the whole feeling of the town is much smaller and quieter than Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz. It was overcast, which made walking around much more pleasant!

We went up into the highlands to do some of our work, and one advantage of the higher view was a chance to take some shots that could be stitched together into a panoramic shot.

And, of course, there was a wonderful assortment of Galápagos birds that we saw, including a finch that had very pale feathers. We called it an albino finch, but it didn't have the other characteristics of albinism, so we're not sure what's going on with it....

Friday, April 8, 2016


Española is the oldest island in the archipelago. It is low and relatively flat, especially compared to the islands that have active volcanoes on them such as Isabela. We left in the late morning and spent the afternoon at Bahia Gardner. We slept on the boat and also worked in the early morning there.

Sofia sampling on Española

Only two species of finches are found on Española, the warbler finch, the small tree finch, and the large cactus finch. The large cactus finch is only found on a few islands, so we were very fortunate to have the chance to see one, though I don't have a nice photo of one.
Warbler Finch
And of course, other organisms have made Española their home as well (not us, of course)

We then went to Punta Suárez on the other side of the island. Here, the Nasca Boobies nest, as well as the amazing Waved Albatross.

We also saw a Galápagos Hawk and even had a few moments to wander over to a natural blowhole in the cliffs!

Monday, April 4, 2016

North Seymour

I had been to North Seymour on the day trips that come here, and so when we had the opportunity to come here to do research, I was incredibly excited. James Gibbs at SUNY had told us a bit about the geography of the island and we were looking forward to being able to collect data on the island!

North Seymour is just north of Baltra, and is one of the islands that has successfully eradicated the black rat from the island, and this is very important as the iconic Blue Footed Boobie nests here.

Furthermore, the frigatebirds where the males have these magnificent red pouches to attract females also nest here as well.

We had an excellent day sampling on the island!