The (clumsy) animal of the day

© Catherine et Bernard Lanneluc,


Name : This amusing bird is called the “blue-footed booby”, more scientifically known scientifically, the Sula nebouxii. It is part of the Sulidae family and the nebouxii species.

Habitat : These birds are found in two places around the world, as two subspecies: Sula nebouxii nebouxii, found in the eastern Pacific and Sula nebouxii excisa, found in the Galapagos. We can distinguish these two species by their colors and sizes, which differ slightly.

Size : The blue-footed booby is approximately 81cm tall and weighs between 1.2kg and 1.8kg. Females are slightly larger than males.

Way of life : The diet of this bird depends on the size of the animal. The male, being lighter and more agile, can dive in deeper waters and brings back relatively smaller fish. In contrast, the larger female aims at larger fish. Blue-footed Boobies can fish in groups with perfect coordination but generally fish alone.


This special bird has such a peculiar name and it’s not only for show…  two characteristics are hidden in its name!

The first characteristic is an eye-catcher : the color of its legs. This bright blue is due to the fresh fish it ingests, in other words, it’s because of it’s  carotenoids-rich diet. It is even an asset in terms of seduction because beyond the aesthetic aspect, the brightness of the color is a symbol of good health. This bird will then only have to show these beautiful legs without any subtlety and voila!

Another hidden feature is its rather questionable ability to walk properly. Indeed, the blue-footed booby is an animal which once on earth walks in a rather peculiar way, earning it the nickname of “madman”.

So now you know where the full name of this clumsy and colorful bird comes from!

Written by RAHIR Romane
Translated by Nour El Ghazal

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