Blue footed boobies mating dance
The mating season for blue-footed boobies is usually between June and August. The ritual begins with the male picking up a small twig (an indication that he wants to build a nest) and hands it to the female. Then proceed to do the dance.
One of the most amazing experience that you can enjoy in Galapagos is the courtship that the male makes to the female prior to mating. The male begins by approaching the female slowly, accentuating his gait from side to side. In the male we detect his intentions from the moment he begins to approach if we look at his tail, which he keeps raised and erect as a clear sign of satisfaction and ostentation. Once the female’s attention is captured, she begins to lift her wings, displaying them with pride, as this is what females look for when selecting a male.
If you are lucky, you can watch personally this dance on the Los Tuneles tour on Isabela Island. If you are planning to go to Galápagos we’ll be happy to help.
If the blue footed booby’s dance moves succeed and gets the “yes” from the female, she will be starting to organize and prepare the nest for the blue footed booby baby. Things go pretty fast for this birds!!
Females have a few requirements and things they look for in the male to build the nest with, for example, the size of the male. However, probably the most important one for the female (besides the dancefloor performance) is the place the male has chosen to display his dance. The reason for this is that the place where the male displays the blue footed booby dance will be the same place where they will immediately build the nest and the female won’t risk the future of the baby because of the wrong location.
Another part of this mating ritual is that the male spreads his wings to show its wingspan and raises his beak so that the female can fully evaluate. It is funny to see the female looking at the male from top to bottom while performing these movements, and evaluating whether he is suitable to take care of babies with him.
Blue footed booby’s babies are born completely white, even the feet. The reason they have blue feet is because of the type of food they eat, so when the baby is able to fish on its own feet will slowly turn blue and that would be an indication that it has become an adult.
Blue footed booby’s dance dont always suceed
If the female is not quite impressed she will look away and completely ignore the male and the dance. Sometimes, when the male notices this rejection, he tries with more energy and can even bring some wood sticks to give her as a gift to impress her.
If the female is receptive and likes the male she will respond moving her legs and raising her beak, making sounds and showing some excitement too.