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Thursday, October 14, 2010

A very special kind of skywatching




Blue-footed boobies (above) and a flightless cormorant (left) exhibit a behavior known as sky-pointing. Male blue-foots sky-point as part of their courtship rituals, and also to impress other males with their superiority.
The flightless cormorant, found only on the adjacent Galapagos islands of Fernandina and Isabela, is shown here sky-pointing to dry his feathers following an underwater courtship or a search for food in the shallow waters of the islands' shorelines. The Galapagos cormorant is the only cormorant in the world that doesn't fly.



Photos 1 and 3
by Kay Davies

Photos 2 and 4
by Karina Lopez



Posted for the Sky Watch Friday meme

31 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Great shots! Love those Boobie birds!! What a hoot! Such wonderful shots for the day! Hope you have a super weekend, Kay!

Sylvia

Smalltown RN said...

WOW that is way cool...we have many cormorants here..but I have never seen a flightless one..thank you for sharing...

EG Wow said...

How cool! I had never heard of flightless cormorants.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I've never seen a blue footed bird before - very cool!

Kim, USA said...

It's gorgeous!! Happy Friday!
Sky Reflection

Mr Puddy said...

Dear Kay, do you know ? I really love your blog. you always post yummy birds ! That's the most thing I love to see : )

Thank you

Carver said...

Very interesting post and great shots of the birds.

Gabriela Abalo said...

great shots!!

thanks for visiting and commenting on my place

have a great weekend

Gramma Ann said...

They really do have blue feet, I never saw them before. In the first picture I think the two on the right are dancing and the two on the left are watching. I almost forgot to look at he sky, their feet almost match the sky.

Leslie said...

Kay, this is absolutely fascinating. Wonderful photos, especially #3. We have many cormorants here in Florida, but I've never seen a flightless cormorant. I've got a friend who has always dreamed of seeing the Galapagos islands, and now I can see why!

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks, Leslie, I'm particularly fond of #3 myself. I spent the better part of a day in a field of blue-footed boobies. I had a folding chair/cane to sit on, and a big umbrella for shade, and just sat there watching them do their incredibly cute thing. It was wonderful.
There are also beautiful red-footed boobies in the Galapagos, too. One day I forgot my umbrella, so was seeking shade in a row of bushes. I had one red-foot on either side of me, and they were both nesting, but didn't pay any attention to me. It's an enchanted place to visit. And they have penguins.
K

zoologirl said...

Great shots and amazing birds! Thanks for sharing!

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

I have studied the blue footed boobies and they mating rituals, however I have not had the chance to see one in person. How awesome!

lisaschaos said...

I've never seen a Blue footed Boobie! Let alone a sky pointing male Boobie!! :0) Nice!!

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous photos Kay!

Sky Watch at my page.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful shots! I really want to visit the Galapagos Islands one day...

Ebie said...

Love the composition of the #1, beautiful cloud formation.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. They are in their own world.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos of the cool blue footed boobie. i would LOVE to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Pearl Maple said...

great photos of an interesting sight, always fun to see what sky watching friends find to share with us

Gattina said...

Very interesting and such nice shots !

jabblog said...

Great photos, Kay:-) I had never heard of the flightless cormorant.
That's one of the many things I love about blogging - learning new and interesting facts as well as seeing the world through others' eyes.

Ann said...

didn't know they are flightless. In New Zealand, we have birds that fly to Australia.

I will be very happy to you will go to my other site to read a post I am very passionate about.

http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2010/10/blog-action-daysave-our-world-water.html

clairz said...

What a marvelous Skywatch post! Thank you.

Shirley said...

Kay, interesting posting today. I didn't know a flightless cormorant existed.

Al said...

Very interesting, and the photos are nice. I'd love to visit the Galapagos one day.

Francisca said...

Flightless and blue-footed, pointing to the sky! The only cormorants I've ever seen are in China, and these are very different, indeed! Great post, Kay!

Beverley Baird said...

What wonderful shots of sky and birds! I don't know much about these birds at all! Thanks for sharing that info!

BraCom (Bram) said...

Great shots, such wonderful shots

Hope you have a good weekend, Bram

Linda said...

Amazing glimpse of this part of the world.
(and I'm impressed that you dared put even a toe into the North Sea!)

Linnea said...

What unique captures...love their name, too! No wonder they point toward the sky! It's so breathtaking!