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Friday, July 8, 2016

Blue-footed Booby

Photo Credit: Benjamint444
The blue-footed booby is a goose-sized tropical seabird that breeds on islands off the Pacific coast. It catches fish in spectacular plunging dives beneath the surface of the waves.

The blue-footed booby is one of the world's most comical-looking seabirds. It has dazzling blue webbed feet, a cigar-shaped body, and long pointed wings and tail. Its tapering, pointed bill, with serrated edges is ideal for grasping the slippery fish that are its prey.

The blue-footed booby has brown and white plumage that greatly contrasts with its bright blue feet and greenish-gray bill. Its head is pale brown and streaked with whitish feathers.

The blue-footed booby spends much of its time gliding purposefully over the water, bill angled downward, watching the surface for signs of fish. It can dive from heights of up to 80 feet. Streaking downward at great speed, with wings angled close to its body, it hits water with barely a splash and resurfaces several yards away with its catch. Sometimes it will catch flying fish in midair.

Did you know?
  • The name "booby" comes from the Spanish word bobo which means "stupid fellow." The blue-footed booby is so called because its lack of fear and its clumsiness on land have made it easy prey for man.
  • The pupils in the female's eyes appear larger than the male's. This is an illusion, the female has rings of dark pigment around her pupils that make them look bigger.
  • The blue-footed booby likes plenty of space around its nest, but its relative, the gannet may pack as many as seven nests in a square yard at its breeding colony.

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