GALAPAGOS RED-FOOTED BOOBY FACTS

  • Scientific Name:
    Sula sula
  • Family:
    Sulidae
  • Length:
    66 - 77cm (26 - 30 in)
  • Wingspan:
    91 to 101 cm (36 - 39 in)
Red-footed Booby Bird

Common but rather localized resident. Population estimated at 15,000 pairs (including 9,000 pairs on Genovesa / Tower Island). Breeds throughout the year, nesting colonially in trees (the other boobies nest on the ground).

Identification:

ADULT: Two colour forms: brown and white. Both forms have diagnostic combination of red feet and blue bill. JUVENILE: Resembles brown form of adult but feet are dark; distinguished from other juvenile boobies by wholly brown underparts.

Behavior:

Courtship display, performed on branches near nest, involves birds lifting their feet and waving them in the air. Partially nocturnal, feeding well away from land. This perhaps explains why it is less frequently encountered at sea during our Galapagos cruises than other boobies despite being the most numerous species in Galapagos.

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