It’s time to get on with it: do a little courtship, select a mate, fix up the nest, and reproduce. What’s true in other places is amplified in the Galapagos where so many birds make frantic efforts to mate in a very small geographic space that hosts a lot of competition.
Once a Nazca booby couple had settled on the best location for their nest on the ground, they removed a few rough pebbles and created a protective circle of guano for the eggs.
The second egg is laid two weeks after the first and provides protection in case something happens to the first eggs. If the first chick is born and makes it long enough to see the second egg hatch, the first chick pushes the younger chick out of the nest – where it cannot survive.
It was heartening to see so many birds mating with eggs and little birds taking flight. Certainly on the islands we visited, birds and reptiles rule the land, water, and sky. May it long continue!