skip to content

Sula nebouxii

Blue-footed Booby

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Sulidae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

Authors: Hernández Díaz, José Alfredo, and Erika Nathalia Salazar Gómez

Sula nebouxii

Española, Galapagos, Ecuador; 23 July 2009 © George Armistead

The Blue-footed Booby is restricted to the northern tropical waters of the eastern Pacific from northern Peru out to the Galapagos Archipelago and north to Baja California. Up close the Blue-footed Booby’s blue feet are very distinctive and diagnostic, though from a distance this species can be confused with the similar Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) where the two overlap along the Peruvian Coast. The Blue-footed Booby spends much of it time at sea searching for congregations of shoaling fish, on which it feeds by plunge-diving from great heights allowing them to access fish at greater depths than other competitors. The Blue-footed Booby is perhaps best known for its ritualized courtship displays, especially the "foot-rocking" display in which it alternatively lifts its bright-blue feet for its mate to see, a comical spectacle, but evidently highly attractive to the species.

Recommended Citation

Hernández Díaz, José Alfredo, and Erika Nathalia Salazar Gómez. 2011. Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Coastal rocky beaches
  • Foraging Strata:Water (below surface)
  • Foraging Behavior:Surface dive
  • Diet:Fish
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Scrape
  • Clutch: 1 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern