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Blue-footed Booby


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.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
31.9 in
81 cm
62.2 in
158 cm
52.9–77.6 oz
1500–2200 g
Other Names
  • Fou à pieds bleus (French)
  • Piquero patiazul (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Blue-footed Booby is a rare, but regular visitor to the Salton Sea in California.
  • The female Blue-footed Booby looks nearly identical to the male. The most obvious difference is that the pupils in her eyes are unusually large and somewhat star-shaped.
  • The Blue-footed Booby makes no nest, but lays its eggs on bare ground. The incubating birds defecate while on the nest, and the eggs become surrounded by a circular wall of excrement.



Breeds on open ground on islands. Forages off shore.



Fish, especially flying fish.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–3 eggs
Egg Description
Pale bluish.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with little down.
Nest Description

Slight depression on bare ground.

Nest Placement



Aerial Dive

Plunge-dives from various heights into schools of fish. May catch flying fish in the air.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

The largest Blue-footed Booby breeding population is located on Galapagos Islands, where they are protected. However, in North America, populations are declining. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates about 90,000 birds in the Gulf of California and rates the species a 17 out of 20 on the Continental COncern Score. They are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


  • American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American Birds, 7th ed. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
  • Palmer, R. S., ed. 1962. Handbook of North American Birds. Vol. 1. Yale University Press.
  • Sibley, D. A. 2000. National Audubon Society. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, Inc., New York.
  • Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, Technical Services Committee, Waterbird Conservation Council. 2006. Status Assessment Spreadsheet - Factor Scores and Categories of Concern for Colonial Waterbirds.

Range Map Help

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


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