On the western coasts of Central and South America lives a fascinating bird with turquoise blue feet! It is the aptly-named blue-footed booby. Males of this magnificent bird species try to impress females by showing off their fabulous feet and stamping them on the ground in a dance-like fashion. Male boobies even make a whistle noise to further get the females attention.
Females are so magnetized by the blue colour of the males feet that the males with the bluest feet are the most attractive. Females like bright blue feet especially because the foot color depends on their food intake. Large amounts of fish make their feet brighter, while deprivation of nutrients makes them duller. Also males also prefer brighter blue feet because that indicates a healthier female.
Next to being attractive physical features, the boobies use their blue feet to cover their young and keep them warm.
Blue-footed boobies are exceptional divers and feed on schools of fish and squid. Folding their long wings back around their streamlined bodies they plunge into the water from high up in the air. They can even swim underwater to pursuit their prey.
Males and females fish differently. The smaller size and larger tail of the male enables the male to fish in shallower areas because its tail enables him to change direction. The larger size of females enables them to carry more food.
This fascinating marine bird comes only to land to breed and is, like other seabirds, very tame. Watch the video to see them performing their dance ritual.