A Mother's Bond
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Blue-footed boobies are large, distinctive birds, found along the Eastern Pacific coastline where they often nest on small islands with rocky coasts. Their name comes from the Spanish word ‘bobo’, meaning foolish or clown – referring to their clumsy movement on land. Their plumage is brown on top, with a white rump and black tail, whilst their underparts are white. The most distinctive characteristic of the blue-footed booby is its large blue feet, which play an important role in courtship.
We were able to observe these beautiful birds up-close and were mesmerized by this mother and its baby. Boobies don’t construct traditional nests, instead laying their eggs on bare ground. However, they do surround their nesting area in a ring of excrement to mark out their territory to others. Unlike most birds, boobies do not have a brooding patch (bare skin on their underbelly) to keep their eggs warm. Instead they use their large webbed feet, which have an increased blood supply for up to a month after hatching, to ensure their young are kept well insulated.