North Seymour Island is a small island just to the north of Baltra. Like Baltra, it was formed by uplifts of submarine lava, resulting in the flat, arid plateau that we see today. The island has no human population and can only be visited with a certified Galapagos guide. But it’s well worth it, as North Seymour is home to many seabird colonies, including some of the archipelago’s largest populations of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and magnificent frigatebirds.
North Seymour has a 1.2-mile visitor trail that takes in some of the coast and the island’s interior. Along the low cliffs you can see swallowtail gulls, pelicans and tropicbirds. The island is also home to a growing population of land iguanas. But by far the most entertaining spectacle is the mating ritual between pairs of blue-footed boobies. The courtship typically includes plenty of honking and whistling, neck stretching and wing spreading, and, of course, the amorous flashing of bright blue feet.
There’s also a good chance you’ll see frigatebirds engaged in their own mating rituals. The males inflate their red-colored throat pouches, called gular pouches, to attract females during the mating season. With a little luck, a female will be impressed and will descend to join the male, and she’ll let him take her bill in his. Once bonded, the pair will engages in some mutual head-snaking, moving their heads from side to side.
Thanks to its wealth of resident wildlife and easily-accessible location, North Seymour has become one of the most popular day tours from Santa Cruz, the main tourism hub in the Galapagos.
Read more about this island at Galapagos Conservancy.
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