• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Blue-footed Booby

Sula nebouxii ORDER: SULIFORMES FAMILY: SULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large seabird of the warm coastal waters of the eastern Pacific, the Blue-footed Booby is a rare visitor to the West Coast of the United States. It has even occurred a few times at inland lakes in California, Texas, and Arizona.

Subscribe to Living Bird Magazine
Optics Planet birding kit

Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large waterbird.
  • Mostly white with dark wings and mottled back.
  • Tail dusky.
  • Whitish head, with thin dark streaking.
  • Long, pointed, grayish bill.
  • Long pointed tail.
  • Long pointed wings.
  • Dark face.
  • Feet bright blue.

Immature Description

Juvenile dark all over with white belly. Pale at base of underside of wings.

Range Map Help

Blue-footed Booby Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adults

    Blue-footed Booby

    Adults
    • © Steve Kelling, Galápagos Islands
  • Adult

    Blue-footed Booby

    Adult
    • Displaying
    • © Steve Kelling, Galápagos Islands
  • Adult

    Blue-footed Booby

    Adult
    • © Steve Kelling, Galápagos Islands

Similar Species

  • Adult Northern Gannet has black only in wingtips and is much larger. Immature gannet can be very similarly marked. Gannet has feathering in front of eyes, boobies do not.
  • Juvenile Brown Booby resembles juvenile Blue-footed Booby, but has darker chest and neck, and shows sharp cutoff between chest and belly.
  • Red-footed Booby has white back, a cleanly white or yellowish head, and a white tail. Juvenile has dark belly and is all dark under the wings.
  • Masked Booby has a white back, a clean white head, and a yellow bill. Juvenile has clean white underside.