I almost tripped over this young galapgos hawk while on a trip to the islands. I spent the next 20 minutes sitting quietly within 2 meters while it surveyed it’s surroundings.
This hawk lives mainly on insects such as locusts and giant centipedes, as well as small lava lizards, snakes and rodents. It is not uncommon for it to take young marine and land iguanas, and sea turtle and tortoise hatchlings.
Other birds of the island fear it. Although it is not able to catch healthy adults, it has been known to pick off weak or sick adults and young. It is the only predator on the entire chain of islands. Fearless of man, the young especially being quite curious, they often wander around human camps and scavenge for scraps of food. In 1845, Charles Darwin wrote:
“A gun is here almost superfluous; for with the muzzle I pushed a hawk out of the branch of a tree..”
115 viewings at 10th January 2011
Winner of the Birds of Prey " Water Play " Challenge
Featured in the Birds June 2010