Monday, December 04, 2006

Galapagos Islands: Dance of the boobies

In a follow-up to a previous post, Georgina Guedes, a South African woman travelling the world, has succeeded in seeing her Blue-Footed Boobies in mating season. Her entertaining Dance of the Boobies post is now online at News24.com.
Around the next corner the rocks were white with guano, and in every depression sat two or three blue-footed birds, all completely unflustered by our arrival. I had hoped, but not really dared to believe, that we would see their much-celebrated mating dance, and here it was, being performed in front of us in all its comic glory.

The intention of the dance is to draw as much attention as possible to the boobies' blue feet. When the male spots a female he likes, he waddles over to her and starts a little rolling march, lifting alternating feet quickly, and then lowering them slowly.

The whole time he's doing this, he looks immensely proud of himself, and once the female is finally won over, she joins in his dance, and it culminates in both of them pointing their beaks to the sky in a proud finale.

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