Flightless cormorants are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. They can most often be seen around the coast of Fernandina Island or on the north and west coasts of Isabela Island. Due to upwelling of nutrient-rich waters, these areas are cooler and the most productive of the archipelago.

In other parts of the world cormorants can fly. When cormorants arrived in the Galapagos they too could fly, but over time with plentiful food and little competition they had little need to take to the sky. With time, their wings mutated and now are used mainly for balance when hopping around on the rocks. They are strong swimmers with thick, muscular legs and wide webbed feet. They build their nests out of seaweed on the rocks close to the sea. Their main diet consists of eels, octopus, and fish.

More Wildlife in the Galapagos

Giant Tortoise

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Pacific Green Sea Turtles

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