The Blue-Footed Booby

On the Threatened Species list, the blue-footed booby is not like other tropical seabirds. With it's bright blue webbed feet and bluish gray facial skin, it might be considered the clown of the bird species, but not just because of its features. The booby's blue tapered bill finishes off the look that evolution blessed upon this bird. With thick white feathered streaks on the pale cinnamon-brown head, and brown pointed wings, the bluefoot has a cigar-shaped body when stationary.

The bluefoot derives it's name booby from the Spanish word bobo meaning stupid fellow. This is the general perception of the bird because of the lack of fear it shows around people, and it's clumsy-looking walk on land.

Clumsy is not the word for it's hunting skills however. The birds diet consists mainly of fish, and has a very efficient diving technique in which it shoots into the water from some very startling heights (up to 80 feet above the water) to snatch up the fish with its pointy serrated bill. Along with this technique, the bluefoot can do what most other birds cannot, that is, dive from a swimming position to feed as well.

Thanks to wildlife endangered species cards mailed to me as a child, and some friendly adolescent nicknaming, Bobby became booby, with an addition of Blue-footed, shortened to Bluefoot, and generally now shortened to Blue.

More intellectual facts about this wonderful bird:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Sulidae
Genus Sula
Species: Sula nebouxii
Geographic Range:

Neotropical, Oceanic Islands: several arid islands off the western coasts of tropical America, Mexico, and northern South America.
Food Habits:

Feeds on fish singly or communally

Almost year round breeding is common for the bluefoot. The male begins the courtship with a display of his bright blue feet flying around showing off to the female of his choice. Mating follows after the female and male raise their beaks to the sky in a show of appreciation for each other. 2 - 3 eggs are found in most clutches. And the birds use their large warm webbed feet to incubate the eggs.

Threatened species

Wildlife Fact Files.