Picture of the Day

Blue-footed Boobies

This image of Blue-footed Boobies is part of NSF-funded research on what may ultimately cause the species’ extinction. A survey of Blue-footed Boobies throughout the taxon’s range in Galápagos, Ecuador, found approximately 6400 adults, compared to a rough estimate of 20,000 in the 1960s. Few pairs bred in 2011-2013, and almost no birds in juvenile plumage were seen. Long-term data suggest that poor breeding began in 1998. The poor reproduction seems to be linked to diet. Previous work indicated that sardine and herring supported successful breeding, but these fish were mostly absent from the birds' diet during the study.

Visit Website | Image credit: David Anchundia, Wake Forest University