Galapagos Petrels are seabirds native to the Galapagos Islands. Despite making the Galapagos their home all year round they have been spotted as far away as northern South America and the Central American coastline in their hunt for their favourite foods - squid, crustaceans and small fish. Like many seabirds they spend most of their time living out at sea when the mating season starts in April they can be seen in the damp highland areas of several of the Galapagos Islands, including but during the breeding season, which starts in late April, they can be found in the humid highlands of several of the islands, including Santa Cruz, Floreana, Santiago, San Cristobal and Isabela.
Galapagos Petrels are medium-sized birds with long wings, grey-black coloring on their belly and with white forehead markings. Their legs are pink with black webs. Their most distinctive feature is their short, hook-shaped bill with nostrils that meet at the top which is a feature shared by all petrel species.
Galapagos Petrels return to the same nesting site every year and they tend to mate for life. Unlike other petrels around the world which dig burrows, the Galapagos Petrels have adapted to the rocky, volcanic archipelago and they will often use natural gaps in the rocks as nests.
You can see Galapagos Petrels foraging for food all year round in the Galapagos, and your Galapatours naturalist guides will point them out to you and explain more about their life cycle and habits. If you visit the islands between April and October then you may encounter them nesting inland if you have an excursion into one of the highlands where they breed. Speak to one of our Galapagos experts who can advise you on the best itineraries to choose to maximise your chances of seeing Galapagos Petrels
Fast Facts about the Galapagos Petrel
- The Galapagos Petrel is known to locals as patapegada, or "web-footed one."
- The population of Galapagos Petrels has declined by over 80% in the last 60 years
- Galapagos petrels reuse the same nest for year after year
- Galapagos Petrels prey mainly on squirrel fish, flying fish, skipjack tuna and goatfish