The Weird and Wacky World of Blue-Footed Boobies

Blue-footed booby jokes never gets old and the Galápagos locals are taking in the English interpretation to the shops. T-shirts are sold throughout the islands that say “I Love Boobies” with a picture of the birds. I felt like a ten year old making booby jokes but it’s still hilarious.

Blue-footed Boobies are most commonly found in the Galápagos. A visit to the islands guarantee’s you’ll see dozens of these birds. You’ll know when you’ve spotted these birds because their feet are blue.

The blue-footed part of their name is obvious but what’s not so obvious is how they got the booby part. Spanish explorers called these birds bobos which can mean stupid, fool, or dummies. They were called this because they had no fear of humans and thus easy to catch for dinner. They’re also apparently very clumsy birds.

Their foot pigmentation has no other purpose other than to look sexy. The females look for males with bright blue feet because it means they’re young and have higher fertility. The males look for females that have bright blue feet too because they know they’ll produce beautiful bright blue looking boobies. The female continues to evaluate the males feet even during their relationship to make sure he continues to look good. Their feet loses brightness with age and if they haven’t eaten well.

So how does a male show interest in a female? He dances.

The male Blue-footed Booby raises his bright-blue feet and begins to break it down to impress the female. Sometimes he’ll point his head in the sky in excitement as he continues to dance. If the fancy moves are acceptable to the female, they’ll breed. Sometimes the female joins in on the dance too thus a dance party begins.

I don’t know why these birds are so interesting to me. Maybe it’s that this is the first time I actually paid attention to any bird. This could be normal for so many other birds but I have no idea. That’s one of the reasons why traveling is so great because I’m learning about things that I never thought I’d learn. Or maybe it’s just that their called blue-footed boobies. I love boobies.

 

 

Interested in going to the Galapagos? I had an incredible time with Contiki learning and exploring the wonderful islands. See their Ecuador and Galapagos Island Hopper tour for more information.

My trip to the Galapagos was sponsored by Contiki. All opinions are my own, obviously.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso is a reformed blogger, formerly ofArt of Adventuring. He is also Stephanie's husband and Why Wait's tech wizard.

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