The cool, oxygen-rich waters surrounding the Galapagos
support an abundant marine flora and fauna which, in turns, support
a variety of sea birds. The most obvious and frequently seen sea
birds are members of the order Pelecaniformes.
In the Galapagos, these include two species of frigate bird, three
species of booby, the brown pelican, the red-billed tropicbird
and the flightless cormorant
No marine region would be complete without sea
gulls (order Charadriiformes) and the Galapagos are no exception.
However, there are only two species of gulls, the swallow-tail
gull and the lava gull, and both are endemic to the archipelago.
Another bird belonging to this order that is commonly seen is
the brown noddy tern.
A third order of sea birds found in the Galapagos
is the Procellariiformes.
This order includes the ubiquitous, but difficult to observe,
Audubon shearwater and a variety of storm petrels. It also includes
the magnificent waved albatross, which, with its 7-8 foot wingspan
is the largest bird in the Galapagos.
The final major order of sea bird represented in
the Galapagos, remarkably, is the Sphenisciphromes,
the penguins! The sole penguin found on the equator is the endemic