2022 Honorable Mention – Claire Furio

Blue Footed Booby Bird Mating Dance


Pen and ink drawings stitched together in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

My work is a visual representation of a blue footed booby bird mating dance. Each individual drawing was sketched by hand, drawn over with pen and ink, scanned, and stitched together in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. My illustration aims to explain a simple idea through visual expression in the hopes of educating young learners about unique animal behaviors and acts of courtship.

The Blue Footed Boobies have a unique mating ritual unlike other seabirds involving a bow, a high-stepping dance, and abstract pose in efforts to grab the attention of a nearby female. The ritual typically begins when a male offers the female a small gift in the form of a stick or rock. The male then bows his head and begins to show off his most alluring attribute, his bright blue feet. Specifically, the male undergoes a high-stepping dance routine in which he lifts one foot up at a time in a marching fashion around the female. The brighter the color and higher the strut, the more suitable the male appears to the female. If the female is still not impressed, the male lifts his dark feathery wings, sticks out his tail, and lifts his beak forming a dramatic pose. Once the female approves of the male, the two will mirror each other’s movements and will often remain monogamous for life.


“Nature.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 6 Nov. 2013, http://www.pbs.org/video/nature-dance-blue-footed-booby/.

“The Blue-Footed Booby Dance | Destination WILD.” Youtube, uploaded by Nat Geo WILD, 18 Jan 2017, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLdrDORP45M.