During the eighteen months I lived and worked in Peru, back in 2011-2013, I took a short trip up to see some of the amazing sights in the less-visited north of the country. Late one afternoon, after a day packed full of incredible archaeological sites, we paid a short visit to the sleepy Pacific resort of Huanchaco, twenty minutes’ drive from Trujillo. The beach ran for miles and would be perfect for long strolls, but we contented ourselves with a short walk to the end of the very Western-looking pier, where we encountered these boobies.
Though you can’t see its feet in my photos (and it was too late in the day to get better shots), this is the Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii), living at the southern extent of its range in northern Peru. It’s a big bird, with a wingspan of around 1.5 metres (5 feet), perfect for a creature that spends much of its life at sea, diving and swimming underwater to catch the fish it likes to eat.