Holiday snaps

The courtship of the blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a droll dance, involving with slapping of turqoise feet on the ground, that never fails to charm visitors to the Galápagos.   This bird is not endemic to the archipelago but is one of its iconic animals.  The male birds are highly sexed, and I saw many of them performing courtship dances when no female was in sight; these involve foot-slapping, brandishing of pebbles and twigs, and the climactic raising of head, tail and wings displayed below (they also utter a strange whistling cry).  The female, who has an egg, isn’t interested.

That photo was mine, but here’s someone else’s video from YouTube.  Ignore the cheesy music, and note how the booby’s walk resembles that of Charlie Chaplin’s little tramp.


  1. John D Stackpole
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “The female, who has an egg, isn’t interested.”

    Ah, the story of my life.

  2. DagoRed
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Ignore the cheesy music…

    Cheesy? Isn’t that what they play when the bride walks down the aisle?

  3. AdamK
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I gotcher highly-sexed male boobies right here.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink


  4. Posted January 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    They’re so fascinating and adorable. And the music in the video seems to be a cheesy rendering of “Mahna Mahna” from The Muppet Show:

  5. Posted January 24, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    There I was, innocently searching for booby photos, and here I landed. So disappointed.

  6. Jonn Mero
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Why is it that nature films are so often ruined by bloody awful music when the natural sounds or lack of such add much more?
    Am of the same view about aviation movies, especially when the music drowns out the sexy sound of a radial engine!

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