Galápagos Islands: Travel to Genovesa Island (Tower Island), the land of boobies

A cruise that visits Genovesa Island in the Galápagos Islands is one worth considering.

Seabirds and short eared owl at the edge of Tower Isalnd, Galápagos Islands

Genovesa Island is home to all three species of boobies found in the Galápagos Islands. Breeding times are the best time to go if you want to see courtship displays, nesting , and/or young, recently hatched birds. To see the the blue footed booby mating dance, you might want to consider traveling to the Galápagos Islands in November.

blue footed booby

You can also see the only nocturnal gull species in the world, the swallow-tailed gull.

Swallowed tailed gulls are the only nocturnal bird of the gull family

The great frigate bird is always a crowd pleaser.  To see the throat pouch of the frigate bird fully inflated you must visit the Galápagos Islands in and around February.  The throat pouches take weeks to pump up so peak pumped is a short window.

green iridecense of the great frigate bird plumage

Great frigate birds have green iridescnce and greater frigate birds have purple iridescence

Genovesa Island has the highest breeding densities of boobies in the Galápagos Islands and the best place to photograph red footed boobies.

galapagos islands tours and travel bird watching

Check out this white phase red footed booby…blue bill, red feet, but entirely white overall.  They interbreed freely with the other red footed boobies.

Genovesa Island, Galapagos is the best island for birding Galapagos

While red footed boobies nest in trees, the Nazca booby nests on the ground.  Their nest are essentially a small scrape on the ground with no nesting material. Nazca boobies experiences name change in recent decades and were originaly called masked boobies (back when I was offered a volunteer position on Genovesa Island).  Nazca boobies derive their name from tectonic plate on which the Galápagos Islands sit.Galapagos Islands birding

Galapagos Islands tours and travel

It’s not only about the birds at Genovesa Island, I also swam with sea lions there.

Swim with sea lions

Here is some our group on Darwin Beach.

sunset at Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

Night herons lined the shore at dusk.  Like all of the other animals, a person could walk right up to them.


Galápagos sea lions lounging around at sunset.

Are there seals in the Galapagos Islands?  No, seal are not able to lift themselves up on the rocky coast.

An incredible sunset taken with an incredibly unsophicated camera.  The colors shine through though and as you can imagine as a sunset to end the first day of our cruise, it was the perfect end to the day.

Which itinerary is best for seeing wildlife in the Galapagos?

I hope you enjoyed the first day of our virtual Galápagos Islands tour.

Here is a before you go to the Galápagos Islands checklist and a few links for tips on Galápagos Islands cruises or doing your own land based Galápagos Islands travel

See more about ExploreDreamDiscover here.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover …” -Mark Twain

18 thoughts on “Galápagos Islands: Travel to Genovesa Island (Tower Island), the land of boobies

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