[Tweeters] RFI: Birding the Galapagos

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 11 22:03:10 PST 2013



There are many very reliable companies to meet your needs. I haven't been to the Islands since 1999, but I try to keep track of what is going on. The tour companies frequently change names/hands so I don't have a specific recommendation. What I can tell you is that after a large expansion of the residential human population to serve the tourist industry and other less savory occupations (illegal wildlife trade especially for reef fish, iguanas and iguana meat, etc) the Ecuadorian government has done a pretty solid crack down on protection of the islands (their mainland experience with oil companies makes them far more aware and activist than in the past). This means that wildlife watching and open access on most of the islands is restricted - you need to be with a guide or a ranger staying on strictly approved trails and with a lot of rules around disturbing or even potentially disturbing the environment and the fauna and flora. The number of species of birds on the islands is actually fairly small, but with a huge percentage of unique endemics, so seeing "everything" is not all that difficult. Take the time to make a target species list and use this to help choose your tour company and how many of the islands they visit that hold unique species. The Galapagos are spectacular and scientifically fascinating - choosing a good boat, with facilities that match your expectations (they range from old guana haulers to spectacul luxury yachts) and price point require a lot of research. Look for recommendations from Nat'l Geographic or academic institutions (I went with a Stanford Alumni group) as they will give you views from a "North American" viewpoint. Have fun! Rob

Rob Conway
Camas, WA
45.58°N 122.44°W - elevation 310 ft.
robin_birder at hotmail.com




Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 14:11:05 -0800
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] RFI: Birding the Galapagos
From: yekramw at gmail.com
To: fishingowl at gmail.com
CC: tweeters at u.washington.edu

My wife and I, for two, are also interested in birding the Galapagos. I am sure we are not alone. So, if those of you who have experience with the Galapagos could reply to all of Tweeters, it would be most helpful to my wife and me.


Will & Willie Markey
East of Auburn on Soos Creek.

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Tyler Davis <fishingowl at gmail.com> wrote:

Hey, Tweeters -
I'm currently in the beginning stages of planning my honeymoon in Ecuador next February (2014), at least a week of which we plan to spend on an expedition cruise in the Galapagos. I've had several suggestions for companies/boats to look into (mostly from my co-workers and colleagues in the travel industry), but I thought I'd survey my trusted friends in Tweeterland since many of my colleagues and co-workers don't really understand what it's like to be a birder.


I'm looking for something small and intimate with a committed focus on natural history. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Tyler

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