Red Footed Booby

September 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Red Footed Boobies are the smallest member of the booby family at only about 28 inches in length making them a couple inches smaller than the Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies also found in the Galapagos Islands.

Telling the difference between these three types of boobies is quite easy as the appearance of all three is quite unique. The blue-footed booby is mainly white with brownish wings and bright blue feet while the Nazca (also known as Masked) booby is white with a black band around its eyes like a mask and pointed black wings.  The red-footed booby has a range of color the majority seen in the Galapagos have a brownish body color with a blue and pink face, beak and throat pouch and red feet which give the bird its name.

During mating season hundreds of animals may pair up and mate.  Unlike other boobies the red-footed booby build their nests in shrubs or trees.  A female will lay an egg every 15 month.  Both parents incubate the egg, and brood and feed the chick.  The parents continue to feed the young for up to four months after fledging.

Red-footed boobies are excellent fliers and spend most of their long lives (up to 20 years) at sea.  They are often seen flying above or along side passing boats.  The red-footed booby is semi-nocturnal and can be seen fishing both during the day and for squid at night.

The colorful red-footed boobies are the least seen of the three species of boobies that are found in the Galapagos by visitors.  The best way to see them is by taking a Galapagos Cruise that stops at one of their two nesting sites in the islands either at Genovesa or Punta Pitt on the northeastern tip of San Cristobal.


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