BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY – Sula nebouxii

BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY

Blue-footed booby facts: These birds are famous for their bright blue webbed feet. They are large seabirds with long, pointed bills, wings, and tails. Their length is between 29.9 and 33.1 inches (76 and 84 centimeters) from their bills to the end of their tails, and their wingspan is about 60 inches (152 centimeters).

Geographic range: Blue-footed boobies live in cool Pacific waters off the coast of northwest Mexico and southward to the coasts of Peru in South America. They are also found on the Galápagos Islands.

Blue-footed booby habitat: Blue-footed boobies breed and roost along rocky coasts on cliffs and small islands. They spend their days at sea in cool waters where there are plenty of fish.

What does blue-footed booby eat: Blue-footed boobies feed on fish near the shoreline. They usually fly out in groups from the roosts where they spent the night. When they spot a school of fish below, one booby after the next plunges into the water. Other groups of boobies often see them diving from far away, and they join in the feast. Sometimes they catch flying fish near the surface.

Behavior and reproduction: Male blue-footed boobies have some amusing courtship displays. They march around in a high-stepping dance, showing off their blue feet. They nest on the ground, and the female usually lays two eggs. Then the parents keep the eggs warm with their feet. After they hatch, the young boobies are fed by their parents for more than five months.

Blue-footed boobies and people: The name “booby” comes from the Spanish word bobo, which means “stupid or foolish.” Sailors long ago noticed that these birds were not afraid of humans, and thought the birds were foolish for letting them grab them and eat them.

Conservation status: Blue-footed boobies are not in danger of extinction.