Red-Footed Booby

The nocturnal hunter who's rarely seen


The Red-Footed Booby is certainly not easily mistaken for any of the other booby species, thanks to those big crimson webbed-feet! They are the most numerous of the Galapagos booby species, but they are actually one of the most rarely seen by our visitors because of certain aspects of their lifestyle.

First of all, Galapagos Red-Footed Boobies actually nest in colonies amongst the trees, as opposed to the other Booby species who nest on the ground. This makes them more difficult to spot than their cousins and makes it virtually impossible to see them without actually going ashore.

The other aspect to their behaviour that makes them less likely to be encountered is that they are semi-nocturnal, and they tend to spend part of the night feeding in the waters right at the edge of the Galapagos archipelago, leading them to prefer to nest in the outlying islands.

At Galapatours, we offer a wide range of cruise itineraries, including those that take in these more remotes islands such as Genovesa and San Cristóbal - so if the Red-Footed Booby is on your list of “must sees” speak to one of our Galapagos experts who can show you the wildlife cruises that will visit the nesting areas of these beautiful animals.

Photos of the Red-Footed Booby

Fast Facts about the Red-Footed Booby

  • Red-Footed Boobies get the pigmentation in their legs and feet from compounds called carotenoids found in their seafood diet
  • This is the smallest of all the booby species
  • Although superb long-distance fliers, Red-Footed Boobies are not great at taking off without any wind to help!
  • Although not currently endangered, Red-Footed Boobies are vulnerable to habitat destruction and predation from non-native species

Where can the Red-Footed Booby be seen?

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All cruises to visit the Red-Footed Booby