Clip of the Week – pair of blue footed boobies displaying

Wide angle shot of a pair of blue footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) displaying, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

This clip was filmed by Sandesh Kadur.

The blue footed booby

Blue footed boobies are so known due to their distinctive bright blue feet. The blue colour comes from carotenoids in the fish the boobies eat, and the brightness of the colour indicates the health and reproductive fitness of the male birds. As a result, during mating, the male will dance to display his feet in all their glory. He will also present nesting materials to the female.

Sandesh commented:

“As a young boy growing up reading wildlife magazines, I was always fascinated by the ridiculous blue feet of the blue-footed booby. Going to the Galapagos meant seeing this bird live and in person for the first time. My first impression of the booby was ‘clumsy’! Especially when seen on land courting as in this instance. Their giant blue feet have to be lifted high to move, otherwise they would trip over. Later I learned that the word ‘booby’ comes from the Spanish word ‘bobo’, meaning stupid or foolish.

Watching this courting pair at close quarters, totally oblivious to our presence, gave me the intimate opportunity to watch a bird I had always wanted to see.”