Many species of birds sit passively and stare as you approach them. On several occasions, the silent commands in my head (Move your beak, turn your head, a little to the left, a little more, there, that’s it) seemed to be answered psychically by the birds in my viewfinder.
My trip to the Galápagos was an education. I learned more about wildlife in a week there than I had in a year of high school biology. While the apparent differences between the marine iguanas on several of the islands brought the theory of evolution home to my thick skull in a more concrete way than any of the birds did, it was the finches of the Galápagos that Darwin used to illustrate his ideas.
The differences in the finches’ beak shapes were too subtle for me to see, even more than 100 years later with the advantage of modern digital photography’s instant playback. But the incredible diversity of the avian life on the islands is something even a biological bird-brain like myself can appreciate.
My trip was courtesy of Ecoventura, who footed the bill for a week-long cruise for myself, along with other curious journalists and our guests aboard the Eric — 20 of us in all. Our educators for the trip were Ceci Guerrero and Yvonne Mortola, talented naturalists and communicators, who were with us every step of the way. We were divided into two groups of ten for all excursions onto the islands and directed not to get any closer than six feet from the animals there.
The photos below are presented chronologically, following our progress as we made our way through seven islands of the Galápagos over the course of a week.