Galápagos Letters

by Nora Clayton, first published @

January 17, 2022

Adventure Awaits

Getting ready for a field expedition is always an adventure. After packing, COVID testing, homework, buying supplies, planning travel, and coordinating a study, we are very ready to be on our way. Read More >


January 24, 2022

El Garrapatero

Our first day in the field we went to “El Garrapatero.” Meaning “Tick Eater,” both the site and its namesake, which happens to be a beach, are named after a common bird called an Ani. Read More >


January 31, 2022

Philornis Downsi

Philornis downsi is well known because its larvae are harmful to bird nestlings. The larvae suck blood, hence the “vampire” part of their name. Read More >


February 7, 2022

Lions, Iguanas, and Birds

People and wildlife share the space, which means you have to be careful not to step on an iguana or sit too close to a sea lion! Read More >


February 14, 2022

Field Observations

Readers should note that biologists, grad students, and intrigued 13-year-olds may stop frequently to observe things. Read More >


February 21, 2022

Galápagos Portraits

If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, you will have several thousand to read today! Read More >


February 28, 2022

Plumber’s Camera

We’re beginning to look inside the nests with a camera, taking notes on the contents of each. Read More >


March 7 2022

It’s a Small World

Every day, walking around town, to the beach, the station, or on our patio outside, our group constantly points out ants, carpenter bees, geckos, millipedes, katydids and grasshoppers. Read More >


March 14, 2022

Galápagos Penguins

We woke up early to get ready, and catch a bus to the dock on the other side of the island. The drive went through the highlands, where it was beginning to rain. Read More >


March 14, 2022

Old Town Quito

The city, full of people, is so different from Puerto Ayora. The streets are packed with shops and each big hill is covered in bright colorful buildings. Read More >


Originally published @