Blue-footed booby

Species profile

Name: the blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a marine bird that is easily recognisable by its distinctive bright blue feet.

Appearance: their wings are long, pointed, and brown in colour. The necks and heads are light brown with white streaks. Their most notable characteristic is their blue-coloured feet, which can range from pale turquoise to deep aquamarine. Their feet play a key role in courtship and breeding, with males using them to attract mates.

Size: the female is slightly larger than the male and can grow to around 90 cm, with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres.

Diet: their diet mainly consists of small schooling fish such as sardines and anchovies.

Did you know: they hunt by diving into the ocean after prey, sometimes from a great height. They travel in groups to areas of water with large schools of small fish. When the lead bird sees a shoal it signals to the rest of the group and they dive in unison after the prey. They can hit the water at around 97 km per hour and can go to depths of 25 metres below the surface. Their skulls contain special air sacs that protect their brains from the enormous pressures they encounter.

Location: boobies typically live on tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific ocean and can be found from the Gulf of California down the western coasts of Central and South America to Peru. Approximately half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galapagos Islands.

Best places to see blue-footed boobies

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see blue-footed boobies are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Galapagos Islands
Ecuador
100%
very high
4.8
very good
3
reports
Isla de la Plata
Ecuador
100%
very high
4.6
very good
5
reports