Blue-footed booby Definition | Characteristics & Facts

Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed booby Definition

The Blue-footed booby is a marine bird species known for its distinctive bright blue feet. It is native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, specifically found along the coasts of tropical and subtropical regions in the Galápagos Islands and parts of South America.

Blue-footed booby General Characteristics & Facts

The Blue footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a species of marine bird known for its unique appearance and fascinating behaviors. Here are some general characteristics and facts about the Blue-footed booby:


The Blue-footed booby is a medium-sized bird with a length of about 30-32 inches (76-81 cm) and a wingspan of approximately 60-70 inches (152-178 cm). They have a distinctive blue beak and bright blue webbed feet, which play a significant role in their courtship displays.

Blue Feet

The intense blue color of their feet is a result of the pigments obtained from their diet. The brighter and more vibrant the blue feet, the healthier and more attractive they are to potential mates.

Courtship Dance

During the mating season, male Blue-footed boobies showcase their bright blue feet to attract females. They perform an elaborate courtship dance, lifting and flaunting their feet in a high-stepping display to impress their potential partners.

Breeding Colonies

Blue-footed boobies breed in large colonies on rocky shores or cliffs. These colonies can consist of thousands of breeding pairs.


They build their nests on the ground using twigs, grass, and other vegetation.

Diving and Fishing

Blue-footed boobies are excellent divers and can plunge from great heights into the water to catch fish and squid. Their streamlined bodies and keen eyesight help them locate and catch prey underwater.


Their primary range includes the Galápagos Islands, off the western coast of South America, and some coastal areas of northern Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and the Pacific coast of Central America.

Conservation Status

Like many other wildlife species, they face threats such as habitat destruction, disturbances to breeding colonies, and accidental entanglement in fishing gear.

Pop Culture

The Blue-footed booby has become a popular symbol of the Galápagos Islands and is frequently featured in nature documentaries and books about wildlife.

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Physical Characteristics of Blue-footed booby

  1. Body Size: Blue-footed boobies are medium-sized birds with a length of about 30 to 32 inches (76 to 81 cm).
  2. Wingspan: They have a wingspan of approximately 60 to 70 inches (152 to 178 cm), which allows them to glide and soar gracefully over the ocean.
  3. Plumage: The adult Blue-footed booby has predominantly brown or gray-brown feathers on its body and wings, with a paler underside. Juvenile birds may have more mottled or streaked plumage.
  4. Beak: They have a distinctive blue-gray beak that is slightly hooked at the tip. The beak is well adapted for catching and consuming fish.
  5. Blue Feet: The most striking feature of the Blue-footed booby is its bright blue webbed feet. The intensity of the blue color can vary between individuals and is influenced by their diet and overall health. The brighter and more vibrant the blue feet, the more attractive they are to potential mates during courtship displays.
  6. Eyes: Blue-footed boobies have pale blue or gray eyes, which give them a unique and captivating look.
  7. Sexual Dimorphism: Males and females of this species look very similar, making it challenging to differentiate between them based on appearance alone.
  8. Weight: The weight of Blue-footed boobies varies based on sex, with males typically weighing slightly more than females. On average, they weigh around 1.5 to 3.3 pounds (0.7 to 1.5 kg).

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Scientific Classification of Blue-footed booby

The scientific classification of the Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Suliformes

Family: Sulidae

Genus: Sula

Species: S. nebouxii

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Key Location of Blue-footed booby

  • Galápagos Islands
  • Central and South America

Blue-footed booby FAQs

What does Blue-footed booby eat?

The Blue-footed booby primarily eats:

  • Fish (e.g., sardines, anchovies)
  • Squid
  • Krill
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