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Beyond the iconic giant tortoises, boobies, and sea lions, the Galapagos Islands are home to many other unique creatures. When we were walking around the otherworldly pahoehoe lava flows of James Island in the Galapagos, my daughter and I spotted a little shore bird with a startlingly red beak. It turned out to be a type of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus Galapagensis).

This little bird, with its white belly and bright beak, stands out against the black lava. It has a “k-ket” vocalization as it searches for mollusk in the waves. Their bills work as both a hammer to break open shells and a knife to stab between the halves of bivalves. We were lucky to see the bird. There are only between 100 and 200 breeding pairs on the islands.

Sources: Hola Galapagos

Would you like to be part of Midge & Snig’s adventure in the Galapagos? Want to have your name (or any name you choose) in my next book? From now until the end of April, everyone who follows my blog, signs up for my newsletter, or leaves a comment, will be entered in a drawing for the chance to name the cruise ship featured in the book.

This post in part of the AtoZ Challenge. Please click on the sunflower AtoZ icon in the sidebar to go to the official list of participating blogs. This year my theme is the Galapagos Islands. I am in the process of writing the first of my Midge & Snig mystery series set in the islands. In my research, I have come across a plethora of interesting facts and images. The vast majority of my research won’t get included in the book, but it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with you all.