The Galapagos Albatross: Courtship Mode – Activated!

By March 16, 2017Animals
Galapagos albatrosses courtship ritual

March is here, along with its hatching sea turtles as well as its nesting red-footed boobies and land iguanas. Family vibes are felt all over the archipelago… but something in the air makes an imminent announcement. April is around the corner, and with it, the amazing, noisy, musical and flirty Galapagos albatross courtship.

Plan your trip to the unbelievable Galapagos Islands ahead of time and get ready to see these amazing birds during the last weeks of April, trying to catch the attention of the ladies through some rather intense (read: insane) flirting techniques.

It’s a singles bar and courtship mode is on.

Albatrossses courtship

The courthsip of the Galapagos albatrosse

Galapagos Albatross Courtship: The Right Way To Flirt

You get to the pub one evening, you’ve been single for a while and are now ready to mingle. You peruse the place. Some attractive girls are talking amongst themselves and you recognize a sweet girl you met once already. Yet, not very far from where you are, you see other single guys lurking around. You will have to put on your best act, you realize, and put all your cards on the table to get that one girl’s attention. Because it just so happens that the ladies are not easily impressed.

Albatrosses are pros when it comes to attracting a girl. Their bodies become these impressive dancing machines and their beaks turn into amazing percussion instruments. There is not a minute to waste and competition is fierce. This event happens only once a year, and the action begins with the first ray of sunlight…

Albatrosses meet at the rocky shores of Española Island, where they are in dire need of affection but have yet to recognize the partner they fell in love with last year.

Their amazing wings, with a wingspan of approximately 4 metres (roughly 13 feet), being to swing back and forth, as if dancing. After a while of playing around with the wind, the sword fight officially begins. Their beaks become the fiercest of weapons, with which they go at it. Tuck! Tuck! Tuck, tuck, tuck! They stop at times, teetering on their legs and squawking their might into the air, snapping their bills to show aggression and getting back to their sword fight. Scientists believe that this courtship dance allows them to recognize specific patterns that allow them to tell if they are dancing with the same partner — the same one they they courted and mated with the year before.

Galapagos albatross courtship

Galapagos albatross

The Galapagos albatross courtship can last between 15 to 10 minutes, sometimes longer if a male feels particularly cocky and wants to elaborate a little more. Meanwhile, human observers are gifted with an amazingly vibrant concert. It is something to behold!

Where do we see these incredible birds?

During the finals weeks of April, on Yacht La Pinta’s Eastern Galapagos Islands itinerary, you will visit Española Island — the only island in the Galapagos where these unique birds can be found.  Not only are they the only tropical albatross in the world, they are also the biggest bird in the whole archipelago.

Albatrosses are not the only animals you will see during your Galapagos trip. Galapagos giant tortoises, red-footed boobies, Galapagos sea lions, sea turtles (just to name a few) are some of the wildlife you will definitely have a chance to get a glimpse of.

How do we see albatrosses in action?

Prior to your hike, your guide will give you some important tips. Wear some comfortable walking shoes and comfortable socks. You will not get wet during your hike and we want to make sure you make the most out of your expedition. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen on all exposed skin areas. Wear a hat, sunglasses, take a bottle of water to stay hydrated, and of course, your camera! You will definitely want to take pictures and videos of the flirty albatrosses as possible to share with your loved ones back home! And if you’re feeling courageous, maybe apply the flirting techniques from the albatross on your loved one!

Check out the video below to get a look at how these birds dance with each other:

Nathalie Moeller

About Nathalie Moeller

Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.