The Galapagos Islands are famous worldwide for the endemic Galapagos animals, in particular, their fascinating birds of origin, many found nowhere else in the world! I was enamored by the variety of birds I saw on this trip booked through a small, intimate tour booking company that handles luxury accommodations on small-ship expedition cruises, as well as wilderness adventures. And as they say “Birds of a feather flock together!” In fact, Ornithologists describe that there is power or safety in numbers as a tactic to reduce the risk of being preyed on. I saw this over and over again in the Galapagos Islands.
What does the proverb “Birds of a feather flock together” mean?
Past uses of the Phrase: Birds of a Feather
- The Rescuing of Romish Fox wrote, “Byrdes of one kynde and color flok and flye alwayes together.”
This is the first known citation of the phrase which appeared in 1599, in The Dictionarie in English print.
- This was compiled by the English lexicographer John Minsheu: “Birdes of a feather will flocke togither.”
This phrase also appears in Benjamin Jowett’s 1856 translation of Plato’s Republic.
Birds of a Feather
On my Galapagos expedition, we daily took exhilarating panga rides to different islands where we encountered birds beyond my wildest dreams. If I wasn’t a birder before this trip, I seriously am considering becoming one now!
However, it is easy to become a birder in the Galapagos Islands because they are everywhere. I say, in the Galápagos Islands, birds of a feather flock together! On many of the islands that I visited, there was a walking path where I was close enough to almost reach out and touch them. I did, however, resist as the National Park System in Galapagos requires you to stay back at least 6 feet!
Birds of a Feather
While on the islands, a certified naturalist is also required to be with you at all times. These naturalists help to educate you on the bird’s traits and mating times, as well as to help you spot some of the more obscure or hidden birds. For instance, the Galapagos Short-Eared Owl was a fascinating creature and owls are birds that I rarely have seen ever in my life. Also, the famous Blue-Footed Booby bird was one that everyone was enamored. They for sure will not let you down on how exciting it will be to see them. You will feel like a National Geographic Photographer even if you are not!
The Galapagos Islands – Birds
Galapagos Island Birds Have No Fear
One of the most peculiar things, though, was the fact that these birds have little to no fear of me and the other passengers from the boat while you visit “their” island. What I mean is, they do not fly away like a regular bird would do! The naturalist told us that they don’t perceive humans as predators, so we are not a danger to them.
Bird Watching Expedition
This was one of the most fascinating parts of my bird watching expedition, in that that I could watch them for long periods of time with no interruptions or fear that they would fly away. They seem to continue on with their daily routine of cleaning their feathers or bringing in food to their partner and/or baby, or just simply sitting on their nest and pay you no mind at all! I have never been so up close and personal with birds before.
From the majestic Midnight Heron to the gigantic red-bearded Frigate, you will see an array of birds that any birder would be proud to boast about.
Bird Nesting Sites
With each step, you will see another fascinating nesting site as well as independent birds sitting upon their egg along the walking pathway and in the bushes waiting for their eggs to hatch. Even at night on the upper deck of the yacht, I would watch for hours the male frigate bird flying overhead while the female frigate would be resting on a perch (pole!) attached to the ship. He would soar above us and I would stare in awe at his amazing soaring abilities!
Darwin called the Galapagos “a world within itself”.
Another thing that struck me was the literal noise that these birds make, from whistling to cooing to raspy ‘waowk, waowk, waowk’ or ‘toot, toot, toot” type of sounds. It is like being in another world, “their” world and I was just visiting them!
Diversity Amongst the Islands and Animals
Each island in the vast, 120 island, 5000-mile archipelago is remarkedly different from the other islands. The diversity of the animals that you encounter, therefore, will also be different every day. One island you visit may also contain more diverse landscape with little animal species whereas another island may be filled to the brim with marine iguanas and snakes.
Also, each season brings about different encounters depending on mating seasons and migration patterns of the animals you encounter, so be sure and choose your trip wisely when you make your decision to take your Galapagos trip.
PRO TIP: Check online for mating times of popular animals and temperature of waters, since these two things can make a huge difference in the quality of your vacation.
Here is a list of some of the fascinating birds of a feather – that I saw on my trip:
Short- Eared Galapagos Owl
Galapagos penguins (the second smallest penguin species in the world)
More Reading on Galapagos:
Other articles about Ecuador:
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, I was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purposes of review by AdventureSmith Explorations. While it has not influenced my review, PointsandTravel.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. All Photos were taken by the author/or were given permission from the photographer. Affiliate links may be located in this article.
About Dr. Cacinda Maloney
A value-luxury adventure traveler at heart, Dr. Cacinda Maloney shares her experiences as someone who has traveled every six weeks of her life for the last 20 plus years. Being a travel writer, blogger and social media influencer, she now travels more than that! She is Phoenix, Arizona based, but maintains an apartment in Santiago, Chile. She is a member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA), Media Kitty and the International Food, Wine and Travelers Association (IFWTWA). Read more...