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Blue-Footed Booby



Blue-Footed Booby
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    courtship, maintain, incubation, transmit, definitely, mating, breed, incubate, naturally, possibly, resurface, interesting, ordinary, booby, shortcoming, receive
     content words:    When Spanish


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Blue-Footed Booby   

1     Blue-footed boobies are perhaps one of the world's most fearless birds! Indeed, lacking any instincts for fear and being quite clumsy on land make them easy prey for other animals. When Spanish settlers first saw blue-footed boobies, they were pleased by how easy it was to hunt these birds. Spanish settlers named this bird "bobo," which means "stupid fellow." Are blue-footed boobies really stupid? Read on and you can be the judge!
 
2     Most blue-footed boobies live on the tropical islands of Galapagos. Some make their homes along the Gulf of California and western coastlines of Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. If we were to keep our eyes on its brown and white feathers only, we might confuse this bird with others of similar colors. Nevertheless, when we look at the blue-footed booby, our eyes naturally fall upon its bright blue feet. Well, that is exactly what the blue-footed booby intends - not for us, but for its potential mate.
 
3     When blue-footed boobies are ready to breed, they carry out many interesting rituals. First, a male blue-footed booby parades around his nest area. The parade is anything but ordinary. Just in case a female blue-footed booby fails to notice how attractive he is, the male blue-footed booby raises each of his blue feet in a slow, deliberate stepping motion. If he is flying over his territory and encounters a potential mate, he flashes his blue feet at her as he lands. Then, both male and female blue-footed boobies point their long beaks toward the sky, tilt their wings around, and give their mating calls. During the courtship, they also pick up small stones or twigs as building materials for their nests. Strangely, they undo their nests later on just about the time that the female blue-footed booby is ready to lay eggs.

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