Smithsonian Journeys Dispatches

The Blue-Footed What?

Male blue-footed boobies are monogamous and have been known to whistle at passing females.

The poor blue-footed booby truly has an unfortunate name. The name “booby” originated from the Spanish term bobo, which means “stupid” or “foolish” like a clown. Although the bird may fly gracefully, he tends to be a bit clumsy on land. He dances to impress the ladies, showing off his blue feet and flapping his wings. As with most courtship displays, the majority of female birds in the vicinity of such a show just find it mildly amusing, until one takes pity on him and agrees to mate. The birds are monogamous, with partners taking turns to incubate the eggs. You can see this little guy and his friends on our Galapagos for Families tour.

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