Medium Ground-Finch (Female)
This is the other common Ground-Finch found widely in the Galapagos. The Medium Ground-Finch is found everywhere the Small Ground-Finch is, except for on Española (where Medium Ground-Finch does not occur).
This species occurs in the same areas as Small Ground-Finch, and exhibits similar behaviors. Medium Ground-Finch is slightly larger than Small Ground-Finch, and has a beak that is of generally more husky proportions.
The beak-size of this species varies tremendously, even on the same island.
The bird pictured here is feeding off the expired fruit of a planted guava tree. This is a non-native tree which is farmed for its fruit at the Rancho el Chato. The main attraction of visiting Rancho el Chato is to see the protected Giant Tortoises that occur on the property.
When glancing at my Flickr sets, it may seem I made a mistake while placing this species. Rest assured no mistake has been made. While this species looks and acts much like a Small Ground-Finch, genetic research places it closer to the Española and Common Cactus-Finches in the taxonomic ordering of birds.
Medium Ground-Finch (Geospiza fortis)
Family: Tanagers (Thraupidae)
Santa Cruz--highlands/tortoise reserve