The Waved Albatross and its courtship ritual in Galapagos can be labeled as impressive, attractive and even comical at times.
In Galapagos, the arrival of the Islands' largest bird is more than just an arrival. It is in fact, about the start of many other natural events.
For instance, the arrival of albatross birds tells us that the southeast trade winds are on their way, and thus the beginning of the dry season is just around the corner.
This also means that the hot season is officially ending, and that the islands will turn arid in just about 2 more weeks or so.
Thus, we can conclude that the Galapagos Islands are a world of perpetual change.
If there's one event that can be labeled impressive, attractive and even comical at times, it must be the courtship ritual of the waved albatross.
Such courtship is more than just a mere reproductive prelude.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most important Galapagos Attractions of the wildlife on these Islands, and it only occurs in the months of April, May and June of each year.
Finding a mate on Espanola Island is no easy task, the terrain is quite irregular and there's plenty of dry brush from the previous hot season.
Nevertheless, male waved albatrosses manage to arrive first, and patiently wait for females to arrive.
Once together, courtship is an elaborate set of cues given by one individual and followed by the other potential mate.
This orchestrated set of moves is then repeated, but in reverse by the former mate.
A series of strange noises that may resemble geese and a set of horn-like sounds can be heard all over the Island.
Part of the courtship even includes some bill fencing (very attractive yellow bills by the way), ending with a superb sky point and a sheer drop of the neck and head towards the back of the wing.
Here, some preening of the primary feather of the wing takes place, and it is all back to where they started. The complete set can last as long as 45 minutes.
Also, the Friday to Monday tours on board the Santa Cruz Cruise Ship will make a regular stop at this unique location.
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