Description of the Galapagos penguin
The Galapagos penguin is a species of penguin that lives exclusively in the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the three species of penguins that live in the northern hemisphere. The Galapagos penguin is about 1.7 feet high and weighs between 4.5 pounds and 11 pounds. It has a black and white plumage, with a white belly and a black back. The wings are short and stubby, and the legs are black with webbing to facilitate swimming. The eyes are large and round, and the skin around the eye is pink. It feeds mainly on fish, squid and krill. It is very agile underwater and can dive to a depth of 400 feet to catch its prey. The Galapagos penguin is also known for its habit of jumping out of the water, sometimes up to 3 feet high, to move faster. It is a critically endangered species. Only a few thousand individuals remain in the wild, mainly due to the loss of their natural habitat and overfishing which reduces their food availability. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this vulnerable species and its population.
When to see them?
The Galapagos penguin can be seen year-round in the Galapagos Islands, as this is its natural habitat. However, it is important to note that penguins can be more or less visible at different times of the year depending on their breeding cycle and feeding behavior. The months of June to December are considered the breeding period of the Galapagos penguins. During this period, it is possible to see pairs of penguins building their nests, incubating their eggs and raising their chicks. The months of January to May are usually the most active feeding time for the penguins, as this is the breeding season for fish, which are their main source of food. In general, the best time to observe Galapagos penguins is from June to November, when the water temperature is colder and the penguins are more active on the water surface. However, it is important to note that weather conditions and ocean currents can vary considerably from year to year, which can affect the behavior of the penguins and their visibility.
Where to observe them?
Galapagos penguins can be observed on different islands of the archipelago, but some islands offer better observation opportunities than others. The most famous islands for Galapagos penguin watching are Isabela, Fernandina, Bartolomé, Floreana and Santa Cruz. In Isabela and Fernandina, penguins can be observed in their natural habitat, swimming and diving in the cold waters around these islands. In Bartolomé, penguins are often seen on Pinnacle Rock. In Floreana, penguins can be seen while visiting the Pirate Cave, and in Santa Cruz, penguins can be seen in Punta Estrada Bay.