Blue Footed Booby

Name: Blue Footed Booby (Sula nebouxii)
Length: 76 - 84 cm
Wingspan: 152 cm

The blue-footed booby is a common resident of the Galapagos islands, colonies of which are dispersed throughout the archipelago.  There are estimated to be approximately 10,000 pairs in the archipelago.  They breed throughout the year, nest on the ground and feed close inshore.

The adult male and female blue-footed boobies are not dissimilar in appearance, both of whom possess the same striking blue feet.  The only subtle difference is that the females have pigmented areas around their iris, making their pupils appear larger.  The juvenile blue-footed booby is similar to that of the nazca booby, although lacks the prominent brown bib of that species.  The infant blue-footed booby has a white patch at the base of its hind neck and a white rump.

Within the confines of the breeding colonies, the male will communicate with a plaintive whistle, while both the female and juvenile give a hoarse "quack" sound.

The blue-footed booby is renowned for its impressive courtship display, which is performed in close proximity to the nest.  This mating ritual is a fascinating act to witness, including the exchanging of gifts, whistling, honking, neck craning and the showing off of their impressive wing spans and bright blue feet.

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