I am sure that the first or perhaps second thing that people think about when imagining the Galapagos or reminiscing about expeditions gone by would be the boobies…the Blue-footed kind! Well it could be the Red-footed Booby or the Nazca Booby, but for sure boobies are synonymous with the Galapagos.
The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a bird in the Sulidae family, which includes ten species of long-winged seabirds. It is of the genus Sula, which comprises six boobies. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait.
The Blue-footed Booby is on average 81 cm (32 in) long and weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), with females being slightly larger than males. The species can reach 70 to 90 cm in height, with a wingspan of up to 1.5 m. The wings are long and pointed, and are brown in color. The neck and head are brown with white streaks and the belly and underside are white.
The Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. As suggested by the name, adults always have red feet, but the colour of the plumage varies. They are powerful and agile fliers, but they are clumsy in takeoffs and landings.
The Red-footed Booby is the smallest of all boobies at about 70 centimetres (28 in) in length and with a wingspan of up to 1 metre (3.3 ft). It has red legs, and its bill and throat pouch are coloured pink and blue.
Nazca Booby was previously considered as subspecies of the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra). It is now recognised as full and separate species. Nazca Booby is larger than Masked Booby.
Adult male has pure white plumage, except the flight feathers and the trailing edge which are blackish-brown. Tail shows white central rectrices and blackish-brown outer tail feathers.
Underparts are white, with blackish-brown trailing edges and undertail feathers.
Head and neck are pure white. The bare face is black.
The long, pointed bill is mostly yellowish-orange in male. Eyes are deep yellow to orange. Strong legs and webbed feet are dark grey to olive-blue.
Female has similar plumage, but her bill is pinkish to pinkish-orange. She is slightly larger than male.
Juvenile has grey-brown plumage on the upperparts, with indistinct pale flecks on head and neck.
As one might imaging there are some humorous and occasionally off color collective nouns for the glorious booby. Some of them include a Congress, a Trap, a Jiggle and a Hatch. Since this is a family oriented blog, I’ll leave it at that. But feel free to leave a comment if you have another thought for a new collective noun for a booby!
Booby Images from the Galapagos
More Images and Prints
You can order prints and see my bird photography portfolio and of course all of my booby images…HERE.
Wildlife, Nature and Creative Digital Photography Workshops
Learn more about Jeff’s photography Workshops by clicking the button!