Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bucket List Part 2 Boobys



Back to our boating day...we started to circle one of the islands as the guide explained more about the various birds that were sheltered here.



My first site of my rare bird was waiting on the top edge of the island and silhouetted against the blue sky.  I immediately was a snap happy camper.


We drew in closer and they watched us carefully as our boat avoided crashing against the rocks.  They seemed to be puffing out their chests and looking condescendingly down on another boatload of gawking overweight tourists.


If you look closer and click on the photos below you can see the blue feet of my bucket bird, the rare blue-footed booby.  Below, one has just taken flight.  Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view. They are mixed in with the red billed seagull who is impressive in his own coloring style.  The blue footed booby males lift and plant their blue feet as part of a stylized mating dance which can be seen at the dance link. Since the female only mates with the bluest-footed dude she can find, each new booby generation is assured of having bright blue feet.  They got the “booby” moniker from Spanish explorers, who called them bobos, which means “dummies.” The birds were not afraid of humans and showed no fear. The explorers thought that was unintelligent behavior, because it made the birds an easy catch for dinner.  According to Wiki  "The blue color of the webbed feet in Blue-footed Boobies comes from carotenoid pigments obtained from the diet. The pigments are antioxidants and stimulants for the immune system, so there is a trade-off between immune function and signaling, since any incorporation of the pigments into the feet is a direct detraction from those that could be used for immunity and detoxification."  The color blue must come from blue algae I am guessing.  Scientists have done some experiments with hiding foot color in males and females after mate selection and found some interesting change in both egg size produced and care of young.





SIGH!!

17 comments:

joeh said...

One down, how many more to go?

Nice pics, that's as close to a bf-booby as i'll ever get...thx

Brian Miller said...

ah those last couple pics you can really see the feet nicely....very cool....i am chuckling at your title though...and wondering what kind of hits you might get...lol...

Celia said...

Wow, these are the best pictures. The color is so apparent, I had no idea. Blue algae is supposed to be good for people too!?

Joanne Noragon said...

Beautiful. And cheers to the intrepid pilot, too.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Congratulations! -- vividly blue feet to boot.

FrankandMary said...

I worry for birds not afraid of humans, since it makes it so much easier for those inclined to kill them.

Anything involving a boat & even barely good weather, & I am there.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Wow...amazing photos and bird!!
HUgs
SueAnn

Red said...

Thanks for the tour. Blue footed boobies are an interesting story.

Linda Reeder said...

My grandson would be ecstatic right along with you. They are his favorite bird. He has stuffed (toy) ones. And here we thought you could only find blue footed boobys in the Galapagos. This is much closer. I'll have to tell him about your trip.

ellen abbott said...

Wow. How cool.

Granny Annie said...

Congratulations on your big booby pictures! (And your bucket list find.)

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Lots of wonderful photos and great info.
An aside. Maybe Elvis heard about the boobys blue feet attracting females so he sang his song about wearing blue suede shoes. I know that is silly to say but I couldn't resist. -- barbara

Chris said...

My sister saw these funny birds in the Galapagos. They were doing their mating dances while she was there. She delights in imitating this dance for whoever will watch. She waves her arms about and shows off the bottoms of her feet with style. :) I wonder what else is on your bucket list?

kenju said...

My younger daughter went to The Galapagos about 5 years ago and got lots of good photos of blue-footed booby birds. She bought a t-shirt that said
I love blue boobies, but no one would wear it....LOL

Scriptor Senex said...

That photo of the one taking off is absolutely brilliant. If I were you I'd have it poster-sized on my wall and show it off to everyone who visited.

Aisling said...

How thrilling to check this item off your bucket list. Your photos in these posts are fantastic! Loving them.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Wow, I had no idea they would have blue feet. How cool, being able to see them and get some good photos.