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So you think you've seen the most ridiculous mating rituals already when watching your buddies at the bar, wait until you see the routine males in this species do to acquire their mate.

Dance Dance Dance!
photo taken from
The sulid family is well known for the male courtship display. The male Booby will walk around lifting his feet exaggeratedly, showing off his brightly colored blue feet. He will then strike a pose known as "sky-pointing" which is pictured here. He will stretch his neck out, pointing his beak skyward and cock his wings up at an odd angle.

Watch a video of a Sula nebouxii courtship display by clicking here! And to fully enjoy yourself, search for more dancing Blue-footed Booby videos on your own.

Three's a crowd... Or is it?
Sula nebouxii
are monogamous birds. However there are incidences where there two females paired with one male. In places where there are more female birds than males, the male Booby may try to court two ladies at once. When this group of three nests together they are able to lay 4-5 eggs and can raise 3 Booby chicks. More than three eggs are not able to incubated all at once and the ones that don’t fit under the male Booby’s feet are abandoned.

Kick off the socks!
Possibly the most interesting adaptation of these birds is their brilliant blue feet. They are not only used for waving around during their wild courtship display, but they also play a big part in caring for their eggs. Don't be fooled by the blue appearance and assume these feet are cold. They actually have very good blood supply and are used to incubate their eggs. The blue coloration may also play a role in helping the female recognize that her mate is of the correct species.

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Baby Time
photo taken from www.wikipedia.orgSula nebouxii reach sexual maturity somewhere between 2 and 6 years of age. The exact age of first-time breeding is uncertain. Sula nebouxii lay eggs throughout the year, with the majority being laid between October and April. The color of the eggs is light blue or a bluish green. They are incubated for six to eight weeks. Both female and male Blue-footed Boobies spend time incubating and watching over the young after they are hatched The Blue-footed booby will lay up to three eggs but often are not able to raise all three chicks. If conditions in the environment are favorable, they will raise all the chicks. This is different from other Sulid species who will lay two eggs but always only raise one chick. (One sibling will kill the other.)

Blue-footed Booby chicks are fuzzy and white. One is pictured below.

photo taken by John Schwarz from

Blue-footed boobies lay their eggs about a day apart and as a direct consequence the eggs are hatched a day to several days apart. Since the first bird to hatch is fed first, it will be bigger than its younger sibling(s). If there isn't enough food to go around, only the eldest chick is fed and the others will starve. There is also a good chance that the older sibling will kill the younger by dragging it out of the nest.

To see a gruesome video clip of this sibling behavior click here. I believe the featured birds are actually Masked Boobies, but you can imagine the same sort of behavior in Blue-footed Boobies as well.

Photo taken by John Schwarz from www.birdspix.comBeing the favorite pays off in this family!

You think you've seen sibling rivalry. These lil' guys don't have to worry about getting hand-me-downs. They have to worry about getting murdered by their big brother or starved by mom.

So you've read about and hopefully watched how the Blue-footed Booby interacts with other Boobies of the same species. Now check out their interactions with other species by clicking here.