The blue footed booby is native to the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean and is part of the six species of boobies. There are about six thousand blue footed boobies in the Galapagos, they typically nest on the rocky shores and cliffs of the islands. Half of the world’s blue footed boobies population lives in the Galapagos Islands.
Their clumsiness on the ground, lead the bobbie to be named by the Spanish “bobo”, from where boobie is used as its nickname. The blue footed boobies has an aerodynamic shape and the extraordinary binocular vision make it one of the best fishing birds. It breathes by the corners of its beak, due to the fact that the nostrils are permanently blocked as they dive to feed. They can reach the speed of 90kmh (60mph) when entering the water, and they can go down to depths of 25m (82ft).
In male blue footed boobies the, brighter the blue color of the feet, the more reproductive success they may have. Boobies lay between two to three eggs a year, creating high competition in the offspring and resulting in one only survivor that portrays natural selection in every generation.
The boobies are opportunistic breeders, preferring the cold season to mate (June-August). Overall, they tend to be monogamous and their courtship ritual is one of the funniest to see. The male offers a present, usually a rock or a branch, and then dances in front of the female showing the feet and making noises while standing with the beak up high and the wings wide opened with tips to the sky. (Females are larger than males)
Once a match is made, the pair will remain together usually for the rest of their lives. Both take care of the nest for about 45 days and feed the chicks together, by regurgitation for approximate two months.
Where to find them
They can be found in all the islands, but especially nesting in North Seymour. They can also be seen in Española, Fernandina, Floreana, Isabela, Pinzón, and Santa Cruz.