My traveling partner was excited when I told him about plans to visit Ecuador and take a cruise to the Galapagos Islands with Ecoventura. When I informed him that this would give him the chance to see hundreds of boobies, he suddenly became very enthusiastic. Of course, I omitted the fact that these boobies were not the female type with which most men seem enamored. I informed him that instead, they were the Blue-footed Booby bird, which are native to the island, and just by coincidence have a rather provocative name.
Ecuador's Celebrated Booby Birds
Three types of boobies are found on the Galapagos Islands: Nazca, Red-footed and Blue-footed. Although I knew we would probably see all three, my specific objective was to get an up close and personal view of the Blue-footed Booby mating dance.
Before arriving in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, I had the occasion to learn a few interesting facts about the Blue-Footed Booby birds, and this information was the primary motivation for my “booby hunt.” The desire became even stronger after I learned about their unique dating ritual, which included an entertaining side-to-side rocking motion, as they lift their colorful baby blue feet. I mentally dubbed this a “Booby Dance.”
It was clear that the male birds definitely needed to demonstrate some fancy foot work for the purpose of wooing their woman.
Maybe my significant other could take a lesson from some of these avian dance moves. In fact, I thought it was high time that he graduate from his classic dance moves, which included old and tired “Lawnmower” and “Sprinkler” dances.
We began our trek on San Cristobal Island, where we spotted a few Red-footed Boobies, which in that area are scarce. However, we saw a few nesting on top of their eggs, but this unfortunately obscured their colorful red feet.
On Espanola Island, there were numerous baby Boobies. The Nazca Booby is somewhat overlooked, but just as beautiful as the other types and their offspring were delightful little balls of puff.
It was exciting when I spotted my first Blue-Footed Booby, but my traveling companion was not quite as enthusiastic, as these were not the type of boobies he was anticipating.
Although he could not deny that he was surrounded by more boobies than he ever saw in Las Vegas, which is what I promised him: I suspect he believed I lied by omission.
Even though we had enjoyed multiple booby sightings, we had yet to see the
Blue-footed Booby mating dance that I was so anxious to view. Fortunately, on the North Seymour, toward the end of our exploring of the Galapagos Islands, we saw one extremely popular female bird surrounded by several male Blue-Footed Boobies who were intent on strutting their stuff in an effort to impress this sought after lady.
If only I were so popular.
We watched as they rivaled performances on Dancing with the Stars. Eventually, a clear leader emerged and went off on a date with his lady friend. Ultimately, my significant other was forced to admit that Boobies of this kind are just as appealing as the other kind, although in a different way. As a finale, he designed his own rendition of a “Booby Dance.”