The Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique biodiversity and many exotic animals. One of the most interesting representatives of the fauna are the blue-footed boobies that inhabit these islands. These birds are striking for their unusual appearance and unique features.
Description and features of blue-footed boobies
The blue-footed booby is a large bird, measuring up to 80 cm. They are found not only in the Galapagos Islands, but also on the Pacific coast of America. However, they are most abundant on the islands.
The life of blue-footed boobies is inextricably linked with the sea. They hunt fish, hovering above the water surface and diving to a depth of 20-25 meters. Females are larger than males and heavier, which allows them to dive deeper and catch larger fish.
Sturgeons have an unusual coloring of their paws – they are bright blue in color. This is explained by the presence of carotenoid pigment, which is produced in the birds from lipids obtained with sea fish. Bright rich color is characteristic of young and healthy boobies. If a bird is deprived of its usual diet of sea fish, its feet will become pale gray in just a couple of days.
Color of paws is very important in the life of birds. He is guided by it when choosing a partner. The brighter and richer the paws of the male, the more chances he has to attract the attention of the opposite sex. The mating courtship of the boobies is very interesting. The male performs a special dance, raising his paws high, because this is his main advantage. If he manages to impress and the female accepts his advances, then later they perform a joint dance.
After a short courtship, the pair builds a nest. The Galapagos, which live near the equator, do not feel the change of seasons, so they breed at any time of the year. The pair manages to produce one, rarely two chicks, which is due to the presence of birds of prey and limited food resources. The main enemies of blue-footed boobies are the sea gulls and frigates. It is noteworthy that if a clutch of eggs or chicks were lost as a result of an attack of predators, the boobies lay new eggs, but take care of them more responsibly.
Amazing behavior of blue-footed boobies
Blue-footed boobies are very naive and not afraid of people. They are happy to pose for the camera, which makes them popular with tourists and travelers. However, this behavior can have negative consequences for the birds. Their naivety and lack of fear of humans makes them vulnerable to tourists who might disturb their natural habitat.
Therefore, the authorities of the Galapagos Islands take measures to protect the blue-footed boobies. Thus, special rules of conduct are introduced on the islands, which prohibit approaching the birds closer than 2 meters. Also, in some places fences are installed to protect the nests of boobies from the encroachment of tourists.
Blue-footed boobies are amazing birds native to the Galapagos Islands and the Pacific coast of America. They are striking for their unusual appearance and unique features. The bright color of their paws is one of the main elements in their mating courtship and also helps the birds navigate each other in their habitat. However, their naivety and lack of fear of humans makes them vulnerable to tourists. Therefore, the authorities of the Galapagos Islands take measures to protect these amazing birds.