Blue Footed Boobies

Although these birds are not endemic to the area, the Galápagos Islands are home to over half of all breeding pairs. These boobies nest on land at night and take off at dawn in search of food. Their diet consists mainly of anchovies and it is the pigmentation of the fish that gives the birds their blue feet.

It is thought that the booby birds got their name from the Spanish word ‘bobo’, meaning stupid, which is how early European colonists may have characterised these birds when seeing them walking clumsily on land, their least graceful environment. It is also thought that the early Europeans may have characterised these birds as ‘stupid’ due to the fact that they were unafraid of humans, as they have never encountered a human meaning to do them harm.

Blue footed boobies usually raise two chicks but sometimes have three in one breeding cycle, however the eggs are laid five days apart, allowing the parents to provide more attentive care for the chicks during the first days of life. Both the males and the females take turns in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks. If food supplies are good then all three chicks can survive, however if food supplies are low the parents will feed the larger and stronger chick first, which often leads to the death of the younger and weaker sibling.

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8 thoughts on “Blue Footed Boobies

  • June 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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    Of all the animals in the world, these are in my top 2 to see before I die. The other ones are giraffes. Love them.

  • June 24, 2016 at 1:57 am
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    Pardon the typo in my previous comment. So boobie business–Did you see the mating dance? It’s unforgettable. Do the green footed have the same foot to foot movement as the blue footed boobies? Thanks for all your travel photos. It lets me go places I can’t go.

    • Profile gravatar of Uncover Travel
      June 25, 2016 at 11:40 am
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      Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the mating dance… We would love to go back to the Galápagos, so maybe we will be lucky next time! Glad you enjoyed the posts!

  • May 4, 2017 at 1:30 am
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    Love your photos, it’s good to see them so close.. I did not know it was the food making their feet blue… There are some pairs here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but I could not get good pics from the small boat.

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Blue Footed Boobies

by Uncover Travel time to read: 1 min
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