Behold the Marietas Islands’ blue-footed booby

By PEGGY GRODINSKY
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

The Marieta Islands, a craggy, wild, grassswept national park off Punta Mita on Mexico’s Pacific coast, are home to another of the area’s famous natural residents: the blue-footed booby (Sula neboxuii).

The seabirds’ shockingly bright blue feet are thought to attract the opposite sex. “They dive from sometimes rather large heights into the water. It’s very cool,” said Dave Mehlman, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Migratory Bird Program. “They turn into living feather arrows as they plunge into the water.”

Many boat tours depart for the islands from Punta Mita; the trip takes 30 minutes or less. Tourists would be hard-pressed to walk through the village without being offered a boat trip.

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