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Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Bird With Blue Feet

The Blue Footed Booby (Sula nebouxii), is most famous for its huge blue feet. If we were to keep our eyes only on its pale brown plumage streaked in white and white under parts, we would probably confuse it with other birds of similar plumage patterns. Theses incredibly cute birds are distributed among the continental coasts of the eastern Pacific Ocean to the Galápagos Islands and California.

Blue Footed Boobies are rather clumsy on land (hence the name booby which comes from the Spanish term bobo – which means stupid) The adults walk in an exaggerated fashion and display each foot in turn, with their eyes focused downwards and the head moving slowly up and down. On the other hand, they engage on extremely dramatic sky pointing. These seabirds use their impressive diving capacities and plunge into the water from great heights of approx. 33 to 100 ft (10 – 30.5m). Blue Footed Boobies hit the water around 60 mph (97 km/h) and can go to depths of approx. 82 ft (25 m) below the water surface. They can also dive from a sitting position on the water's surface. This species diet consists mainly of small school fish like sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and flying fish. They also feed on squid and offal.

The Blue Footed Booby is monogamous, and strong bonds are maintained between male and female by repeated courtship displays at the nest site. Courtship begins when the male bird shows off his blue feet to the prospective mate by dancing, he picks up his feet and displays them in exaggerated steps. The bluer the feet are, the more attractive the mate. Interested in the courtship is shown by the impressive sky pointing ritual display. Both adults adopt a posture in which the bill is pointed skywards and the wings-tips and tails are raised. They also perform their mating calls. (see video)

DID YOU KNOW?
The Blue Footed Boobies have permanently closed nostrils made for diving. They breathe through the corners of their mouths.

2 comments:

Noir said...

Hi

thnx for sharing. i must've overlooked this info.

nice...

Aschatria Xyana said...

Few months ago I watched an epi about them on NatGeo, I think they are really fast. Nice pic.

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