The Blue-footed Booby is a pelagic bird in the Sulidae family
is a pelagic bird in the Sulidae family and one of the ten species that makes up the family of long-winged seabirds. The name booby means stupid fellow in Spanish, from the term bobo. The blue-footed booby is known for being rather
on land, but is an excellent swimmer. This bird is found mostly in the Galapagos Islands, but also along the rocky coasts of South America, from Peru to Mexico.
The booby averages about 3 pounds as an adult and can be up to 26 inches in length. Their wingspan alone is up to 64 inches! The females are slightly larger than the males.
The booby is somewhat easy to spot due to its very blue legs and feet. The blue color can range from pale turquoise to a deep shade of aquamarine. It takes two to three years for adult plumage to mature. The blue-footed booby has a pale, streaked head and a large, dark, pointed bill. Their eyes are yellow, oriented toward the front and located on either side of their bill. They have excellent binocular vision which enables them to easily see fish in the water below. They have a dark mantle with white patches on the rump and nape, white under parts, and a dark, wedge-shaped tail that sometimes sports a white patch. Their necks are thick and very strong.
The blue-footed booby has specialized nostrils that are permanently closed, and breathe through the corners of their mouths, making them an excellent diving bird. The booby is a fish eating bird and dives for fish from the air.
Strictly a marine bird, the only reason the blue-footed booby comes ashore is for breeding. They tend to be monogamous and reunite at the breeding grounds every eight to nine months.
To court the female, the male will dance, throw his head up, spread his wings, and flaunt his blue feet by stamping them on the ground. While mating, the female will parade, and the male will show off the female by pointing his head and tail skyward and putting his wings back. At the same time, the male makes a high-pitched whistling noise.
The female lays two or three eggs, one at a time and about five days apart from each other. She and he take turns incubating the eggs, using their feet to keep the eggs warm, which last between 41-45 days.
The blue-footed booby is one of only two species of booby that raises more than one chick. The adults feed the chicks regurgitated fish constantly. Nests are located in a small indentation in the ground on bare black lava.
Blue-footed boobies feed on school fish such as anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and flying fish. They dive from great heights, anywhere from 33 to 330 feet in the air, into the ocean, and swim under the water to catch their prey. Hitting the water at around 60 mph, they can dive to depths of 82 feet below the surface!
This bird is a very fast swimmer and has been known to also feed on offal and squid in addition to fish. The lead bird will signal to the group when a fish shoal is sighted and the group of boobies will dive at one time to catch the fish.
Blue-footed boobies are very concentrated in certain locations and are not considered to be endangered