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Listening Answers for Blue Foot Bird Exercise

Questions, Answers & Transcript: Blue-footed Bird Listening Practice

Do not look at the answers until you have finished the listening lesson.

If you have not finished this listening lesson, please click here: Blue-footed bird listening practice


These boobies live off the western coasts of Central and South America. The Galápagos Islands population includes about half of all breeding pairs of blue-footed boobies. They are aptly named, and males take great pride in their fabulous feet. During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.

All half-dozen or so booby species are thought to take their name from the Spanish word “bobo.” The term means “stupid,” which is how early European colonists may have characterized these clumsy and unwary birds when they saw them on land—their least graceful environment.

Like other boobies, blue-foots nest on land at night. When day breaks, they take to the air in search of seafood, sometimes fishing in cooperative groups. They may fly far out to sea while keeping a keen eye out for schools of small fish, such as anchovies. When their prey is in sight, these seabirds utilize the physical adaptations that make them exceptional divers. They fold their long wings back around their streamlined bodies and plunge into the water from as high as 80 feet. Blue-footed boobies can also dive from a sitting position on the water’s surface.

Blue-footed boobies also use their webbed feet to cover their young and keep them warm. When a typical brood of one to three chicks hatch, both parents feed and care for them.

It is a good idea to read the transcript and listen to the recording at the same time. Below:


Questions: No more than two words and/or a number.

  1. Strutting and showing off feet is part of the mating …………
  2. When a male boobie has very blue feet, he is considered ……………..
  3. Their name comes from the Spanish word for …………..
  4. On land, blue-footed boobies move  in a ………. manner.
  5. Blue-footed boobies fish in ……………….
  6. They eat small fish, for example ………….
  7. Their bodies are ………..  which is advantageous when diving.
  8. Adult boobies warm their chicks with their ……………….
  9. They usually have a maximum of ………. young.


    1. You can have either plural or singular for this answer. It isn’t common that you can have both – usually in IELTS you must choose carefully and writing the wrong one will mean it is marked wrong.
    1. You cannot have the word “bobo” because the word “for” means you are looking for a translation. You need the English word, not the Spanish word.
    1. Some people had difficulty with the pronunciation of “in cooperative groups”. This is due to the pronunciation features of linking sounds.
  9. THREE / 3
    1. Notice that the question asks for the maximum number.  Always underline key words in the question on your listening question paper.




  1. Joy Agagwu says:

    Thanks Liz, I just started my listening practice and have found these really helpful. Thanks once again. I scored 7 points

  2. Ahmed Hassan Cheema says:

    Hi liz.. 🙂
    I am just new here and today i am going to start my prepartion of ielts from your listeniing excersise its lil bit difficult but i will try my best… once again thanks for the tips. 😊

  3. Hi Liz,

    thank you very much for all these useful lessons.
    I would ask you do I have to memorize the name of fishes like “anchovies” ?.
    thanks in advance,

  4. Great practical experience Liz! Awesome

  5. Hi Ms. Liz,
    I would like to let you know that I am preparing hard for my upcoming test in two weeks. I am learning a lot through your informative website. Thanks loads for all your efforts. I have a question please with regards to writing the answers of the Listening test, and I would deeply appreciate it if you could give me the accurate answer to avoid such mistakes in the real test:
    I was practicing a Listening test, and the speaker mentioned the date – First of February.
    The instructions given were – write no more than two words.
    Which one would be the correct answer:
    1st of February (is it considered two or three words) OR
    February 1st OR
    1st February

    Thanks in advance

    • I’m sure you know that in English we never write “1st of February”. That isn’t correct in English. Although we say the word “of” it is never written. You can write the number before or after the month – one is US and the other is UK English.

  6. Shweta Bhatia says:

    Hi Liz,

    I took very first test of Boobies today and realized how good exercise was. I mean because of your Qs I understood that we need to read question thoroughly because small words like ‘For'(Q3) and ‘Maximum'(Q.9) can make us loose our marks.

    Thank you once again.

  7. Sai Neelesh reddy says:

    Hi Liz,

    In blue foot bird listening exercise i got confused and written a wrong answer for this question “THERE NAMES COMES FROM SPANISH WORD FOR _________”. Actually i have written “BOBO” but you explained that we have to translate it into English. How could i know Spanish, I thought this is an International English test. Please revert back to me.Thanks for your Lectures.

    Neelesh Reddy

    • The audio very clearly explains which word is English and which word is a Spanish name:
      “take their name from the Spanish word “bobo.” – it states clearly that the word “bobo” is a Spanish word.
      “The term means “stupid,” ” – it then clearly states the translation of the word.
      This is an English language test and the recording very clearly explains in English the name of the bird from the Spanish word to the English translation.

      It is very important that you read the transcript very carefully to see why you didn’t understand the English explanation. Every time you do a practice lesson or a practice test, you MUST read through the transcript and check each answer – it is up to you to learn.

  8. Akhil H Gada says:

    VERY IMPORTANT SUGGESTION – Hi Liz, would be so good if you could add time in the start of all audio to read questions just like in real IELTS test. Thanks.

  9. Hi Liz
    I am so confused with this question

    Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours you sleep every night .The amount of sleep a person needs varies .While most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night ,some people do well with less ,and some need more

    Some who only gets four hours sleep a night must be suffering from insomnia .?

    • Try thinking this one out for yourself. However, my advice is based on the information you provided – you have not presented the whole paragraph and often the answer can relate to more than one sentence.
      A true answer = the statement is correct. A false answer = the statement is opposite or wrong. A NG answer = we have no idea if it is wrong or right because there is nothing in the passage about it.
      Passage: Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours you sleep every night.
      Statement: Some who only gets four hours sleep a night must be suffering from insomnia.

  10. Rawia Obida says:

    Thank you so much, Liz, it is a really helpful lesson.

  11. Eman Al-Chalabi says:

    Dear Liz,

    Thanks a lot for proving Free preparation materials. I looked at different IELTS websites , they are all not detailed or well organised the same as yours.
    Please Liz, could you tell me what is the idea of using all answers in Reading and Listening in Capitals is it just to be in a safe side?
    How about using all Lowercase or use Capitals just in the beginning of the names?

    The idea of my question is writing in all capitals take longer time also, I tried using them but there’s no enough space in answer sheet particularly with sentence completion listening questions.

    I checked the other student’s comments and your comments regarding that but didn’t find an answer to my specific question.

    Wish you all the best Liz because you deserve it.

    • I usually recommend using all capital letters because it’s easy to read. If your answer can’t be easily read, it could be marked wrong. If you don’t want to use them, just use all lower case.

  12. Rajwinder says:

    Thanks mam,ur lessons are so wonderful.it is very helpful tip to listen the recording as well as reading the same script.

    • I’m glad you tried that. It’s a great way to hear the way sounds and words link together. You can also use it to improve your own pronunciation.

    • Dear Liz, thank you so much. I need to know if this will be applicable in the real ielst test. I mean the recording and the script together?

      • It is not a listening and reading test together. The script is for practising at home. Of course you can’t see the script in a listening test.

  13. Thank you,I took the speaking test on Tuesday in Lagos and I was asked the kind of job I will like to take it,why,the qualities required
    I was asked if I do put on a wrist watch
    If I get to a place on time
    Why I do get there on time
    What skills are required for students in secondary school in other to be successful when they get a job
    And many more questions.
    I am preparing for the reading,listening and writing test. And also hoping I get over a band 7 because what is required of me is a band score 7.Thank you ma for your help
    God bless you.

  14. Thank you for your free open lessons They were very useful and educative .
    I was able to obtain my required band score.
    God bless you.

  15. Mueed Jamal says:

    THanks for posting answers Liz ! It was a tough but good exercise and I scored 8/9. Question # 6 was tough cause I never heard of such species and I was unable to think of the spellings as well. I am looking forward for more such practice exercises 🙂

    • I’m glad the lesson was useful 🙂 If you want more practice lessons, go to my main listening page = click on the RED BAR at the top of the website.

  16. Hi Ma’am,
    Thanks for the above listening chapter.
    But why can’t we write “bobo”?
    That means if there’ll be any such kind of questions we need to write the meaning but not the name?

    • This has been explained on the page above. The grammar in the question statement CLEAR asks for a translation of the word. The preposition “for” means you need the English word. ALL IELTS listening questions are not just about listening – they are about grammar – understanding prepositions and the type of answer needed. So, this isn’t about guessing, it’s about knowing your grammar.

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