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Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed boobies
© Charlotte Brett

Common name:

Blue-footed booby

Scientific name:

Sula nebouxii

Spanish name:

Piquero patas azules

Conservation status:

Least Concern


Average lifespan:

17 years

Average size:

81 centimetres long

Maximum size:

85 centimetres long; 1.5 metre wingspan

Average weight:

1.5 kilograms

Maximum weight:

2 kilograms


Blue-footed boobies are one of three booby species found on Galapagos. They are large, distinctive birds, found along the Eastern Pacific coastline where they often nest on small islands with rocky coasts. Their name comes from the Spanish word ‘bobo’, meaning foolish or clown – referring to their clumsy movement on land. Their plumage is brown on top, with a white rump and black tail, whilst their underparts are white. The most distinctive characteristic of the blue-footed booby is its large blue feet, which play an important role in courtship. Females are thought to select males with brighter feet, as they are an indicator of his overall condition and thus the quality of his genes. Females tend to be larger than males, and have darker blue feet.

Blue-footed boobies in Galapagos

Galapagos Boobies Collection

Support our vital conservation work and celebrate three of the most iconic bird species in Galapagos: the blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca booby.

Read more about blue-footed boobies...

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