North Seymour Serenades17 Sep 2015, Posted by Galapagos Islands Blog in
During this time of year, one of the most exciting experiences of Galápagos is the courtship of blue-footed boobies. As one wonders along the north Seymour trail it is common to get entrapped into the courtship serenades of male boobies. These concerts include very distinctive whistles and squawks, accompanied by an extremely peculiar dance where males seem to be showing off the bright blue colored legs. Studies carried out indicate that the healthier the male, the brighter the blue. Sexually mature males have been found striving in their search of good nutrition during the year, so as to become prime mating candidates. All this preparation effort turns out to be so stressful, that many males take sabbatical years without mating in order to recover from such scuffing.
It is known that blue-footed boobies belong to a monogamous social group; however it has been found that females control sexual access and mate with additional males outside the family to achieve fertilization. Males mate with additional females apparently outside the fertile period of their partner, and progressively copulate with their social partner as the mating period approaches, probably ensuring paternity by care, courtship and assistance. (Osorio-Beristain & Drummond, 1998).