I’ve been a big fan of Boobies for some time….. Honestly though when I saw Blue footed boobies on a wildlife documentary I knew I would like to see them in real life. Even before I knew any better, they reminded me of Gannets; which I now know is because they’re from the same (Sulidae) family.
We had only been on Galapagos for a few hours when we saw our first booby. Staying on the second most populated of the islands, in San Cristobal’s capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, we saw our first booby sitting on a rock when we went to look out at the sunset from the beach. He sat about 3 or 4 metres away from us in all his splendour. Still, as the light was fading and we were enjoying the scene, I didn’t take a photo in the vain hope that we’d get another opportunity like this.
It did take a while to get such a clear sighting of a booby again but the old adage rang true: the best did come after waiting a while.
A few days into our trip we saw Blue footed boobies in flight and hunting. They are quite a spectacle when you get a flock of them circling overhead then diving into the water like darts, perfectly synchronised to fold in their wings and pierce the water at the same.
One of the last islands on our cruise provided a good sighting of the rarer red footed booby, which was a lovely reward after a long walk in the scorching heat. We managed to get a few photos of some of the nesting red footed boobies and a good view (through the binos) of the Masked (or Nascar) boobie too.
We had heard about the famous Blue footed booby courtship “dance” and planned to come back to see it in the mating season one day. We knew we were a little too early in the season to see it this time… so you can imagine our delight when a male and female blue footed booby blocked the path near the end of a half day’s island walk to display their courtship in full view for us! We stood and watched them in complete amazement until the dance was over and the camera clicks stopped. I’m not sure who was more excited about the whole affair – them or us!