The Albatross bird is the largest species of birds in the Galapagos Islands and only nest on the Española Island, where they can be spotted from the end of March until the beginning of January. The birds start nestling in May just before the summer season starts, when the water gets hotter and thus, food resources diminish.
The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are the perfect place to watch these birds doing their amazing courtship dance. As the Albatross is really rare in the tropical zone and can only be found on the Galapagos Islands, a visit of the Española Island will make your journey with Gulliver Expeditions unforgettable and will leave you with unique memories.
The Albatross courtship is worldwide unique among seabirds, both in its complexity and its duration. Males and females engage in a coordinated “dancing“, in which the partners face one another and perform stereotyped and often synchronized behaviours. These behaviours include a range of actions and calls, and combinations of the two that allow potential mates to evaluate each other’s suitability as long-term partners. Those birds are a one of a kind. When the male finds a female, their partnership usually lasts until one of them dies.
But the courtship dance is not the only thing that makes those birds so special. Albatrosses are among the largest flying birds and reach wingspans up to 3.7 metres (12 feet). They are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. Those maneuvers allow the bird to cover almost a thousand kilometres a day without flapping its wings. A special shoulder-lock makes it possible to keep the wing outstretched without any muscle expenditure. Albatrosses are also so well adapted to this lifestyle that their heart rates while flying are close to their basal heart rate when resting. A common assumption is that albatrosses must be able to sleep in flight, although no direct evidence has ever been obtained.
Albatrosses belong to the worldwide heaviest flying birds. They can weight up to 8.5 kilogramms. When taking off, albatrosses thus need to take a run up to allow enough air to move under the wing to provide lift.
You can see the famous and impressive Albatrosses by making one of our Island-Hopping Tours, that show you several islands in one tour or by taking one of our reccomended Galapagos Islands Cruises. The Land tour starts on one island and by boat you will be brought to another island where you can spend some time, after you continue to another island. Taking a Cruise, you will have the comfort to be transferred from island to island and to sleep on a luxury ship. In both ways, you get to see the best of the Galapagos from land and from sea. This is the ideal trip for travellers who like to enjoy every little part of their travel, as you get the chance to enjoy all the amazing sights of the Galapagos Islands from every point of view. Our South Galapagos Land Tour or for example the Millennium Cruise will lead you to the Island Española and give you the opportunity to admire those amazing birds.
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