Description of the blue-footed booby
The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a species of medium-sized seabird belonging to the Sulidae family. It is an emblematic bird of the Galapagos archipelago, although it is also found on other islands in the Pacific Ocean. Blue-footed Boobies are characterized by their gray-brown plumage with silver highlights on the wings, their white head and neck, and their characteristic blue legs and bill. Males and females are similar in appearance, although males often have slightly larger legs and bills. These birds feed primarily on fish, squid and small crustaceans, which they catch by diving into the water from heights of up to 100 feet. Blue-footed Boobies are known for their fishing technique called "spiral diving", where they spin around as they dive for their prey. They are monogamous and their pairs are formed for life. They breed on rocky, isolated islands, where they build their nests using materials such as twigs and seaweed. Males perform a courtship display by dancing and exposing their vibrant blue legs to attract females. Blue-footed Boobies are a species in good conservation status, although some populations have declined due to overfishing and marine pollution. These birds are protected by the Galapagos National Park and it is important not to disturb them during the breeding season.
When to see them?
Blue-footed boobies are present in the Galapagos Archipelago all year round, but the breeding season is mainly from May to November. During this period, pairs are formed, courtship takes place and the birds build their nests to accommodate the eggs and chicks. It is also possible to observe Blue-footed Boobies outside the breeding season when they are feeding at sea.
Where to observe them?
They can be observed on some of the islands of the archipelago, notably on the island of Seymour Norte, the island of Isabela and the island of Espanola. On the island of Seymour Norte, you can observe the blue-footed boobies during a guided hike, which also offers panoramic views of the other islands of the archipelago. On the island of Espanola, they can be observed along with other species of sea birds during a walk along the cliffs and beaches of the island. Isabela Island is also a popular place to see Blue-footed Boobies. The island offers many sites for seabird watching, including Puerto Villamil beach and the islets of Las Tintoreras.