THE Traveler: Jeanne Baumann of St. Paul.

The scene: A pair of blue-footed boobies engage in a mating ritual, clacking their beaks together and stepping around each other on North Seymour. Colonies of marine birds — like magnificent frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls — inhabit this low-lying uninhabited island in the Galapagos chain.

Destination: The Galápagos Islands, an archipelago that famously informed Darwin’s theory of evolution, draws visitors who come to see its spectacular beauty and distinctive wildlife. “Every day of our eight-day small-group (15 people) cruise tour of the Galápagos Islands was exceptional,” Baumann wrote in an e-mail. The “biodiversity, the volume of endemic flora and fauna, the climate on the equator are only a few of the elements that make it stand out,” she added.

Getting the shot: Baumann shot this intimate photo using her Nikon 5100 DSLR with an 18-400mm zoom lens. She witnessed the male hiss at and chase off an intruder before the mating dance continued. She wrote, “The two were utterly engrossed in each other, and only in each other. I was watching the action mostly through my lens, adjusting as they ‘danced’ around, not realizing the mating pair were actually getting closer and closer to me. After this shot, our guide told me to lower my camera; the pair was now within 3 feet of me.”

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