What is it about Blue-Footed Boobies?
Detail of the legs of a blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii)
Pair of blue-footed boobies
Foot Fetish for Females of Blue-footed Boobies
Do looks count? You can bet it does when it comes to the seabirds known as blue-footed boobies!
The color of their feet helps determine which male will be preferred over another when it comes to mating with a female. The female will always pick a male with the most colorful feet. Scientists have studied this and have determined this to be factual.
The more vivid colors in these webbed feet is a good indicator of the overall health of the birds and just as humans often start losing color in their hair as they age with it turning to grey or white...the blue footed boobies gradually start losing coloration in their feet. Thus the younger, heartier and healthier genes are passed on to the next generation by the females choosing the most vividly pigmented feet of their male suitors.
Unlike humans who sometimes mask their true hair color...there are no salons in the wild which can artificially tint a male blue-footed booby's feet back to its more saturated coloration.
Do male blue-footed bobbies flaunt this fact? Yes indeed!
What in the World is a Blue Footed Booby?
Blue-footed booby courtship display
Blue-footed Booby Courtship
They flip their feet up and down and dance in front of females showing off their pretty feet when they are in a courting mode. If they were human, blue-footed boobies would be like the famed dancer Fred Astaire all decked out wearing blue shoes!
These seabirds can dive from great heights and they seek out schools of fish where they actually consume them while still underwater.
Their favorite fish to dine upon is the sardine. I don't blame them! Sardines can be a tasty food especially if gotten fresh.
If you have only ever eaten them in those little tins, do yourself a favor and try and find some fresh ones to eat. My hubby and I got to eat sardines in Spain and remember it with gustatory pleasure.
Blue-Footed Booby Bird Mating Dance
Nesting Blue-footed booby
Egg laying practices of some other birds
Type of Bird
Eggs laid how many days apart
1 to 3 days
1 to 3 days
Blue-footed Booby Eggs
One interesting thing about how these birds produce offspring is in their laying of eggs. A span of about five days can be the interval between egg laying for Blue-footed boobies.
The average number of eggs laid by Blue-footed boobies are two.
Obviously the oldest egg hatches first in this type scenario. Typically since it is the biggest and strongest of the chicks, it often gets the most of the regurgitated food from the parent birds.
Sometimes the older chick actually kills the younger ones. Talk about sibling rivalry! The younger chicks are very mismatched in this type of encounter.
The parent birds do not interfere in this rivalry between the chicks. In fact often the older chick is fed first by the parent bird.
Natural selection relating to Darwin's theory of evolution would seem to be more of random luck in this case.
That first egg and subsequent hatched chick most often wins the lottery with regard to survival.
Quite a few birds lay their eggs not all at the same time from what I learned. However some (as in the case of the American Robin for example) do not start incubating the eggs until the entire clutch is laid.
Some birds start incubating after the first or second egg is laid thereby having the chicks hatching at different intervals such as is the case with Blue-footed boobies.
Blue footed Booby on North Seymour Island in the Galapagos
Did you find this information interesting? Have you ever seen a blue-footed booby?
If this information has spurred your interest in learning more about the Blue-footed Boobies, you can read much more here:
More by this Author
Learn some fun facts about the Northern Mockingbird here. See photos and videos. It is amazing the sounds that this bird can replicate!
Learn some facts and see photos & videos regarding the brown pelican plus see my original linocut artwork using this bird as subject matter.
Autograph books can bring back many memories when read in later years. Some of mine from the 1950s & '60s.