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Galapagos Hawk

The Galapagos Hawk is one of the most recent arrivals to the archipelago, taking the ecosystem by storm about 300,000 years ago. With no natural predators and exceptional hunting ability, the Galapagos Hawk is at the top of the food chain. It feeds on lizards, baby tortoises, sea turtles, and insects and can be found on the islands that host sufficient prey. Despite their dominance, there are only an estimated 300 Galapagos Hawks, and they have virtually disappeared from the islands with the biggest human impact — Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Floreana, and Genovesa.

Galapagos Hawks lay their eggs in low trees and on cliffs and their nests can sometimes reach up to four feet in diameter. Their proximity to the equator means a lack of seasonality and therefore the lack of a set mating season. The males tend to stick to one partner for life, while the females will mate with many different males.