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The Red-footed Booby, Sula sula, is a large seabird of the gannet family, Sulidae. They are powerful and agile fliers, but they are clumsy in takeoffs and landings.

Description

The Red-footed Booby is the smallest of all boobies at 71 cm in length and with a 137 cm wingspan. It has red legs, and its bill and throat pouch are coloured pink and blue. This species has two plumage forms. The white phase is mostly white with black on the flight feathers. The brown form is brown with a white belly, rump, and tail. Both forms may occur sympatrically, as in the breeding colony on St. Giles Island, Tobagomarker.

The sexes are similar, and young birds are greyish with browner wings and pink legs.found in tropical islands

Breeding

This species breeds on islands in most tropical oceans. It winters at sea, and is therefore rarely seen away from breeding colonies. It nests in large colonies, laying one chalky blue egg in a stick nest in a tree, which is incubated by both adults for 44–46 days. It may be three months before the young first fly, and five months before they make extensive flights.

Red-footed Booby pairs may remain together over several seasons. They perform elaborate greeting rituals, including harsh squawks and the male’s display of his blue throat.

Diet

Red-footed Boobies are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speeds to catch prey. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface.

References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Hilty. Birds of Venezuela. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5


Gallery

Image:Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) flying.jpg|FlyingImage:Red-footed booby.jpg|White morph on Palmyra AtollImage:Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) -adult on nest with chicks.jpg|Adult and chicks on nest in a treeImage:Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) -perching in tree.jpg|Red-footed Booby perching in a treeFile:Booby chick.jpg|Chick


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