Saturday, September 17, 2011

Red Footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies

In addition to the Blue-footed booby you can find two other species of boobies on the island- the Nazca and the Red-footed.  The Red-footed booby is a brownish color with bright red webbed feet and a beautiful blue and pink beak.  Unlike the Blue-footed booby the Red-footed has adapted to live in trees and will actually nest in trees wrapping their bright red webbed feet around branches- a very unique sight!  Their babies are born with a thick layer of fuzzy white feathers and are beautiful to see blowing in the wind.  The Nazca booby is white with a black face and orange beak.  They nest on the ground and lay two eggs and practice siblicide where the stronger chick will kill the other one.  This may seem harsh, but it is actually a very finely tuned evolutionary process to ensure that the strongest DNA survives.  The parents are not capable of caring for two chicks, but if they only lay one egg and it dies they have no baby so it is an adaption for survival.  Their babies are brown with blue eyes and are extremely curious.  I had one take a great deal of interest in my camera bag and lens playing with it for about 10 minutes while I photographed nearby birds.

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Juvenile Nazca Booby from Rebecca Yale on Vimeo.

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