Blue footed booby

General Description 

Blue-footed boobies are large sea birds (70-90cm in length with a five-foot wingspan) that breed along the eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean, from southern California to Peru. They are more widely known for their dramatic plunge-diving, brilliant blue feet, and the stunning mating dances that hopeful males display for prospective females. These beautiful pelican-like boobies are certainly the most famed and frequently seen of the Galapagos birds, yet of all the boobies the blue-footed actually has the smallest population and it has recently been discovered that their numbers are decreasing.

It is relatively simple to distinguish the sexes of the Blue Footed Booby by both sight and sound. Although it is only the effect of additional black pigmentation around the pupil, the eye pupil of the female appears to be larger than that of the males. Their calls, on the other hand, are perhaps easier to distinguish as the male emits a high whistling sound whereas the female has a low honking call. Mates communicate with each other by calling and are actually able to recognize one another based on these sounds as each individual has its own particular call. The female also tends to have darker blue feet and weighs slightly more than the male.

Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby
Galapagos Blue-Footed Boobies Are One Of The Islands’ Endemic Species.

Blue-footed booby video

The blue-footed booby is a seemingly young species that has evolved in isolation on the Galapagos Islands. There are currently two known subspecies of blue-footed boobies, which were named taxonomically in 1882, the year Charles Darwin died. The Sula nebouxii nebouxii is recognized by its slightly smaller stature, while the Sula nebouxii excise has a slightly duller color. This bird is a part of the family Sulidae, which includes ten species of long-winged seabirds, and also belongs to the genus Sula, along with five other species of boobies. The Peruvian booby is the closest relative to the blue-footed booby, and due to their similar ecological and biological features, it is believed that the two species split only recently.

Blue-footed boobies infographic

Blue-Footed Boobies Infographic
Fun Facts About The Blue-Footed Boobies.

Ready to start dreaming up your Galapagos Islands tours?

Updated:May 5, 2023

Published:January 26, 2016


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



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This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

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A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

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Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

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When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

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Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
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No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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