Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Sulidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Hernández Díaz, José Alfredo and Erika Nathalia Salazar Gómez
  • © 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.

Male whistled display calls and occasional female grunt calls

© Wesley Lee

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Hernández Díaz, José Alfredo and Erika Nathalia Salazar Gómez. 2011. Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.