Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blue Footed Boobies

We have encountered boobies twice: on Little Cayman Island and on the Galapagos Islands.

On Little Cayman we could walk to the booby hatch.  This was the place where the boobies had a commune of sorts.  They were nesting in trees that stood in brackish water and they brought back fish they had caught in the sea in for their young.  We watched from shore as they dived into the sea and brought up fish.  They stored them in their gullets to bring back to their nests and if they were lucky they would not be attacked by the man of war or frigate birds that forced them to cough up their catch.  It was on Little Cayman that I learned the real meanings of “boobie hatch” and “cough it up” and the meaning of booby.

The same sort of thing was happening on the Galapagos Islands only a different sort of booby had evolved in these islands.  They had blue feet.  And we were fortunate to arrive during mating season.  The male would do a dance to impress the female lifting his beautiful blue feet to impress her.  This was so amazing that many years later I have made some watercolors of this event.

Shortly after we came home from the Galapagos, someone commissioned a series of Galapagos poems for a website that is no longer available so I have these in my book, The Wilderness Within.

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