are blue footed booby birds extinct

Pretty Turquoise Feet with a Purpose

The reason behind the booby’s magnificently colorful feet is unknown, but we do know that both male and female birds cover their young with their feet to keep them warm.

Another crucial component of the boobies’ reproductive strategy is their blue feet. Female boobies choose and mate with males who have the brightest feet because as they get older, their color dulls. This allows them to choose the youngest, most fertile, and most capable of taking care of and providing for the chicks.

Like many other animals, the male booby uses a complex dance routine to entice and impress his mate. These fluid motions entail lifting one of his blue feet off the ground and stamping it there, followed by lifting the other foot off the ground and stamping it down. All the while strutting in front of the potential partner like I’m saying, “Look at these feet.” ”.

Although boobies typically nest on bare ground, this intricate ritual also entails the bird pointing his head and bill upward, raising his tail and wings, and offering sticks and stones to his prospective mate in order to construct a nest.

Photo Credit: Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism Photo Credit: Ecuadors Ministry of Tourism

“Until 1997, there were literally thousands of boobies at these breeding sites and hundreds of nests full of hatching chicks,” principal investigator David Anderson, a professor of biology at Wake Forest University, said in a press release. “Then suddenly, the boobies just werent there. There were a few cases where we found isolated breeding attempts but most of these didnt produce chicks.”

The scientists associate the population decline with a comparable decline in local sardine populations, though they haven’t proven it yet. Under normal conditions blue-footed boobies eat sardines almost exclusively. The scientists discovered that today, only roughly half of the birds’ diet consists of sardines. The boobies’ capacity to mate and procreate may have been impacted by the absence of the incredibly nourishing fish.

The hunt is now on to determine the precise cause of the boobies’ lack of reproduction and potential solutions. The bulk of the birds that are still alive in the Galápagos are practically old and are nearing the end of their breeding years, as the paper notes (the birds only live 15 to 20 years) Anderson stated, “But if humans are really causing this decline, we need to find out now rather than five years from now when you have the equivalent of 75-year-old humans trying to procreate.” “.

Blue-footed boobies are not currently considered an endangered species—the IUCN Red List and BirdLife International classify the species as of “least concern,” noting that it has a wide range from the U.S. to South America. That said, the Galápagos remains an important stronghold for the species and the birds (and their complex mating dance) are a big draw for tourists. The loss of the birds on the islands could be felt in many ways for years. The lack of sardines, meanwhile, could potentially affect other species in the area, including two other species of boobies, the red-footed booby (S. sula) and the Nazca booby (S. granti). The true impact of this change in the food web remains to be seen.

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades. A series of surveys from 2011 to 2013 found only 134 fledgling birds in an area that less than 20 years ago would have held hundreds if not thousands of nests. The total population, meanwhile, had dropped by more than two-thirds since the 1960s.

Blue-footed Booby More Talented than Its Name Implies

The name “blue-footed booby” comes from the Spanish word “bubi” or “bobo,” which means “stupid fellow” or simply “stupid.” However, talking about boobys is just an excuse to say “booby” over and over. Seabirds in general are frequently thought to be unintentional (boobies frequently trust humans and willingly jump and land in hazardous situations), and they also seem rather awkward when they are on land.

Their best work and most graceful acts occur in the air, when they are diving to eat and searching the water below for sardines, anchovies, flying fish, and even squid. This is largely the reason for their awkward state. Moreover, boobies are particularly skilled at diving from a seated position directly into the water.


What is the population of the blue-footed boobies?

Data quality
Population size
90000 mature individuals
Population trend
Generation length
10.1 years

Do blue-footed boobies live in North America?

Blue-footed Boobies nest on islands in the tropical eastern Pacific. Though thousands live in Mexico’s Gulf of California, finding them in the United States or Canada is challenging.

Why are blue boobies called boobies?

1. How did blue-footed boobies get their name? The blue-footed booby name originates from the Spanish word “bobo,” which means silly or foolish. These birds tend to have a lack of regard for possible danger, making them vulnerable at times.