Blue Footed Booby Facts
My, What Sexy Feet You Have!
Face it, you’ve always wanted the goods on the blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii), right? Even if you haven’t, you’re sure to find these blue footed booby facts as fascinating as I do.
This interesting animal is a marine bird. It has bright blue webbed feet and a blue-gray face to match. The blue-footed booby belongs the Order Pelecaniformes (Pelicans and their relatives).
Just look at those sexy feet!
Aside from their distinctive blue feet, the blue-footed booby has long pointed wings and a narrow pointed bill.
During mating rituals, the male blue-footed boobies show off their blue feet to prospective mates during their courtship dance by lifting their feet up and down while strutting before the female. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.
The female is slightly larger than the male and can measure up to 36 inches (90 cm) long with a wingspan of up to 4.9 ft. (1.5 m). The average weight is 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg).
Its eyes are placed on either side of its bill and oriented towards the front, enabling excellent binocular vision.
The boobies’ diet consists of fish, which they dive for by folding their long wings back around their streamlined bodies and plunge into the water from as high as 80 feet (24 meters). Blue-footed boobies can also dive from a sitting position on the water’s surface.
Because of this habit of diving for their food, the booby’s nostrils are permanently closed. It breathes through the corners of its mouth.
Like other boobies, blue-footed ones nest on land at night.
Females start breeding when they are 1 to 6 years old, while males start breeding when they are 2 to 6 years old. The blue-footed booby lays one to three eggs at a time, and both parents feed and care for them.
Blue-footed booby chicks have black beaks and feet and are clad with a layer of soft white down. The parents use their handsome webbed feet to cover their young to keep them warm.
The average lifespan of a blue-footed booby in the wild is 17 years!
All half-dozen or so booby species are thought to take their name from the Spanish word “bobo,” (meaning “stupid”, “fool”, or “clown”) because of their clumsiness on land. They may also have been regarded as foolish for their apparent fearlessness of humans.
There are approximately 40,000 breeding pairs of blue-footed boobies in the world. The Galápagos Islands population includes about half of all breeding pairs of blue-footed boobies.
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(It’s just sexy!)
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