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Blue-Footed Booby


Aptly named, these Galapagos birds are perhaps the most iconic of all avian species on the archipelago for the fantastic color of their feet. Ranging from deep sea blue to brilliant turquoise, these famous webbed feet are on full display during their breeding season — every eight or nine months. The mating dance includes a proud display of the feet by the males, using a rising and falling slapping that attracts the female gaze. When evaluating the prowess of their potential mates, female Blue-footed boobies prefer the bright turquoise color, as it signifies more robust nutrient levels and therefore a greater ability to catch small fish such as anchovies.

While blue-footed boobies can be found along the Pacific coast of Peru and Ecuador, and even in some parts of Pacific Mexico, the endemic subspecies in the Galapagos make up about half of the world’s blue-footed booby population. With a wingspan of almost five feet, these creatures look somewhat silly on land and positively impressive when hunting at sea — known to dive at high speeds and pursue fish when underwater as well. Not considered threatened, you can find these resplendent seabirds throughout the Galapagos Islands.