Blue-footed Booby

We’ll talk about the Blue-footed Booby today. It is a marine bird, and its blue feet are the reason why it got its name. Read this blog to learn more about their way of life, their diet, and their residence.


  • The Blue-footed Booby, like other seabirds, is awkward on land, which is why the term booby is derived from the Spanish word bobo, which can also mean “dumb,” “foolish,” or “clown.”
  • They are also viewed as being dumb due to their apparent lack of fear of people.

Scientific Name

Sula nebouxii

Physical Description


  • It is a large sea bird.
  • Its length is just about three feet.
  • It has a large bill and a lengthy neck. 


  • Brownish above and whitish below, with a slender white band across the rump and a white patch on the hindneck.
  • Adults have grayish brown streaks on their bare head and neck and vividly blue feet.
  • Young birds have brown feet and head, neck, and breast patterning that is darker brown.


  • Its wingspan is roughly five feet.


Feeding Behavior

  • Blue-footed Often in groups, boobies spend a large portion of the day fishing.
  • They soar over the water while patrolling, then dive quickly and frequently from tremendous heights to catch any fish they come across.
  • The majority of the day is spent dozing out on the water or on a comfortable perch (a piling, buoy, rock, etc.) and grooming.

Nocturnal Behavior

  • They often spend the night on land sleeping and the day feeding at sea.
  • Occasionally, boobies feed in groups.
  • They frequently fly out to sea a great distance in search of their prey, small fish like anchovies.

Flying Behavior

  • Keeping a close watch out for schools of small fish, like as anchovies, they may fly out to great distances in the ocean.


  • Its  extended lifespan in the wild is a result of the absence of predators and its isolation from other species.
  • Males begin mating at around two years older than females, between the ages of two and six.

Food & Diet

  • They primarily consume fish and squid.
  • The majority of the boobies’ food consists of anchovies, sardines, mackerel, flying fish, and other small fish.
  • The larger female boobies often eat larger fish than the males and can dive deeper.
  • During the day, Blue-footed Boobies use diving to catch fish.

Blue Footed Booby Habitat

  • The majority of the time, Blue-footed Boobies are found close to shore in marine habitats.
  • They are occasionally discovered on inland lakes.
  • Birds that are roosting or resting come close to or onto the coast and perch there on rocks or other sturdy platforms.


  • The eastern Pacific Ocean’s continental shores from California to the Galapagos Islands and south into Peru are home to the Blue-footed Booby.
  • It is maritime bird only.
  • Its sole purpose on land is to reproduce and raise young, which it does along the rocky eastern Pacific beaches. 


  • Except when arguing over prey, Blue-footed Booby are rarely heard vocalizing at sea, however they occasionally produce guttural braying noises.
  • Male nesting birds whistle, whereas females and young females quack hoarsely.

Blue-footed Booby Dance

  • One of the most identifiable species in the Americas and a favorite of bird watchers, blue-footed boobies take romance very seriously.
  • Male Blue-footed Boobies strut high to display their feet to potential mates during mating rituals.
  • The mate is more alluring the bluer his feet.
  • Do you know?
  • The male draws the female in by lifting one leg, then the other, to display his stunning blue feet, which are an indication of good health and fitness for reproduction.

Blue-footed Booby Reproduction

  • It lays its eggs directly on the ground without building a nest.
  • The eggs are encircled by a ring of faces that forms as the incubating birds defecate on the nest.

Blue-footed Booby Eggs

  • The female blue-footed booby lays two to three eggs.
  • The non-sitting bird keeps vigil while the male and female alternately incubate the eggs.
  • It uses its feet to keep the eggs warm because it lacks a brooding patch.  A 41–45 day incubation period is required.

Prey & Predators

  • They frequently fly out to sea a great distance in search of their prey, small fish like anchovies.
  • The only predator of Blue-footed Boobies on the Galápagos Islands, where there is little to no human interference, is the Galápagos Hawk, a raptor that preys on chicks when their parents start leaving them alone in the nest, usually when they have grown about 40% of their adult weight.


  • About 80,000 Blue-footed Booby are thought to exist worldwide.
  • Regarding the threat of extinction, their population is regarded as being very stable and of the least concern.


  • Its population is under danger, just like the populations of the other creatures on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Contrary to the dodo, the encroachment of humans—both directly and indirectly—on their environment is harming the booby population, not their friendliness and lack of anxiety around people.
  • The difficulty in acquiring food for blue-footed is the first danger.
  • Both legal and illegal overfishing have caused sardine numbers, which are a favorite meal of boobies, to plummet.
  • The second big concern is plastics trash, which is a problem for islands all over the world. Many marine animals, including albatrosses and sea turtles, swallow plastic by accident or mistake the particles for food.

Fun Facts

  • Their feet comes in different shapes and sizes. Female feet eventually have a darker blue tint than male feet do. If you encounter a group of boobies together, try comparing their feet to discover which ones have bluer feet—not it’s always simple to tell!
  • In order to entice a mate, blue-footed booby males “whistle” to females. Males will extend their necks and make a lengthy whistle sound to attract females that are circling above them in the sky. Males attempt to entice females to their land-based nesting location with their visual display and call.
  • Couples of Blue-footed Boobies will do a dance in tandem by marching side by side and elevating their feet simultaneously, which is arguably one of their most fascinating traits. If you’re lucky enough to observe it, the walk looks overdone and is actually rather humorous.
  • In the hot Galapagos sun, Blue-footed Boobies might become overheated. By opening their mouth and vibrating the skin on their neck, they can reduce their body temperature and stay cool. Although they occasionally appear to be laughing, they are really only attempting to keep themselves cool.

Reference Link

Blue-footed Booby-FAQ

Where does the Blue Footed Booby Live?

In the tropical eastern Pacific, Blue-footed Boobies build their nests on islands. It is difficult to locate them in the United States or Canada, despite the fact that thousands of them reside in Mexico’s Gulf of California.

What is a Blue Footed Booby?

It is a large seabird with long, pointed wings, a big bill, and a somewhat long tail.

What does the Blue Footed Booby eat?

They mostly eat fish and squid. 

Are Blue Footed Boobies friendlier in nature?

Around people, blue-footed boobies are docile and timid.

Where I can see a blue-footed booby?

North Seymour is one of the best seabird breeding areas in the Galapagos, and blue-footed boobies are frequently seen there. Numerous other islands south of the equator, such as Espanola, Fernandina, Floreana, Isabela, Pinzon, and Santa Cruz, are home to sizable breeding populations.