Booby, a tropical seabird related to the gannet. It is about the size of a large gull and has a long, pointed bill, a wedge-shaped tail, and brightly colored legs and feet. It feeds on fish and squid, for which it dives, often from great heights. It is named for its apparent stupidity—it is so unwary that it is easily caught by humans.
The brown booby has a yellow bill and feet. It is found along the Pacific coast from southern California to Mexico. The blue-footed booby is cinnamon-colored with bright blue legs and feet and a greenish-blue bill. It is found along the Pacific coast of Central America and breeds along the Gulf of California. The red-footed booby nests in the Hawaiian Islands. It is distinguished by its red legs and feet and light blue bill. The blue-faced booby is found along the coasts of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. During the breeding season, it has a bright blue patch of bare skin at the base of the bill.The blue-footed booby is cinnamon-colored with bright blue legs and feet.
Blue-footed boobies put their feet to good use. A male displays his feet during courtship. He holds up one foot at a time while arching his back. He then hops from one foot to the other. He wants to make sure the female gets a good look at both his feet.
Once the male has the female’s attention, the courtship dance continues. The male whistles and the female honks as both boobies sky-point and strut.
Blue-footed boobies are very good divers. They fly high above the water looking for prey. When they spot food, such as fish and squid, they dive straight down. If they catch their prey, they bring it back to the surface to eat it.
The brown booby is Sula leucogaster; blue-footed, S. nebouxii; red-footed, S. sula; blue-faced, S. dactylatra. Boobies belong to the family Sulidae.