|We stay near where we landed for
awhile to absorb the incredible abundance of life.
Soon we are composed enough to move a little ways along the trail into the Blue-foot colony. A pair of boobies are dancing, honking and whistling their courtship dance. They both move their feet to the booby
rhythm and, as the female honks, the male spreads his wings, raises his head in a skypoint and whistles. I love this dance and have practiced it many times on the dance floor back home. It is a little more subtle than that of the frigates.
There are three species of booby in the
Galapagos: the Blue-footed Booby, Red-footed Booby and Masked (or
Nazca) Booby (with green feet).
On Hood, you will find both the Nazca and
Blue-footed Booby. The Nazca Booby is generally found nesting closer
to shore and the Blue-footed Booby more inland. Both make very
rudimentary "nests" on the ground. The Red-footed Booby nests in
trees and is the only booby to do so.
The Blue-footed Booby will lay from 2-3 eggs
and raise that many young while the Nazca Booby will lay two eggs.
The first to hatch will force the other egg out of the nest, so that
the birds will only raise one young.
Moving through the booby colony on Hood Island
is an amazing experience. Many of the birds are nesting on or very
close to the trail. It is very important to move carefully so as not
to disturb the birds. Boobies also have very sharp beaks and are not
afraid to use them to protect their young!
Sky pointing boobies