Booby Bird: Description, Habitat, & Fun Facts

  • Reading time:18 mins read

Booby Bird

Booby Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Pelecaniformes
  • Family: Sulidae
  • Genus: Sula

“Booby birds have a wing span of around 5 feet” is a search term. The booby is a seabird that can be found on the shores of Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.

A boobie’s diet consists of anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and squid, among other things. They may appear clumsy when walking on land, yet they are exceptional fliers and divers whether in the air or underwater. In the wild, they can live for up to 17 years at a time.

Amazing Fun Facts About The Booby!

• The booby bird has a long-term relationship with the same partner.

• A group of booby birds, known as a colony, can number as many as 200 individuals.

• When a booby bird sees a fish in the ocean, it can dive from an altitude of 80 feet or more in the air to catch it.

• The booby has a similar appearance to the gannet in terms of coloration.

• When this bird is receiving adequate amounts of vitamins and other minerals, the colour of its feet remains deep blue or even purple.

Scientific Name for the Booby

The scientific name for the blue-footed booby bird is Sula nebouxii, and it is found in the United Kingdom. Its name derives from the Spanish slang phrase bobo, which means “bobo.”

Bobo is a slang term for silly or clownish. Because of the clumsy way these winged creatures walked and moved around on land, Spanish sailors dubbed them “bobos” after the bobos of the sea.

These creatures would land on Spanish ships, giving sailors an easy opportunity to capture and consume them, further cementing their image for being dumb.

They are members of the Sulidae family and the Aves class of animals. This seabird is found in six different species. All of them are members of the Sula genus. These are some examples:

  • Blue-footed booby
  • Masked booby
  • Brown booby
  • Red-footed booby
  • Peruvian booby
  • Nazca booby

Booby’s Appearance and Behaviour

A booby bird has a body length of 32 to 34 inches and a wingspan of roughly 5 feet. Imagine two and a half bowling pins stacked on top of one another, and you’ll have the same length as a booby bird that measures 34 inches in length.

When you think of a giraffe with a 5 foot wing span, imagine a length that is one-fourth the length of the animal! These creatures are slightly larger than 3 pounds in weight. A 3-pound booby bird is roughly equivalent to half a brick in terms of weight.

The look of this winged creature varies depending on which species it belongs to. Without a doubt, the blue-footed booby is most known for its vibrantly coloured feet. This species does not have blue or purple feet from the beginning of its life.

When the babies, or chicks, are born, their feet have a bright white colour. It is not until they are six months old that their feet turn blue. A brown booby does not have blue feet, and vice versa. Instead, it is distinguished by the dark brown feathers that cover its back and head.

Because it resembles a gannet in appearance, the masked booby is also referred to as the masked gannet. Mostly white feathers with brown on the wings and tail, both birds have a similar appearance. The masked booby gets its name because its feathers form a blue mask on its face, giving it the appearance of being disguised.

What about the red-footed booby? You guessed it: it’s a girl! It is distinguished by the brilliant red colour of its feet. It also has a pink and blue bill, which distinguishes it from the other species of booby birds in the area.

Despite having brown feathers on its back and wings, the Peruvian booby also has a pale underside. The Nazca booby, on the other hand, has white feathers on its back and some brown on its feathers, as opposed to the other species.

It has a beak that is a blend of orange and pink in colour. In addition to having two yellow, intense-looking eyes, this animal also possesses a serrated beak. The rough, pointed edges of this animal’s beak aid it in grabbing onto the slippery fish that make up its diet, which it consumes.

It doesn’t matter whether the booby bird is the blue-footed, red-footed, or another species; the feet of all of them serve a role (other than walking). Male blue-footed boobies flaunt off their feet in an attempt to attract a partner to their territory.

In addition, both males and females use their feet to protect their offspring in the nest when they are not present. The masked booby is the largest of the species. Its wingspan can reach as far as 5 feet 7 inches, and it can weigh as much as 5 pounds at its largest.

This animal is highly gregarious and prefers to dwell in groups. In a colony, there can be anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of birds. When there are a huge number of birds in one place, it can deter predators from visiting the area and attempting to take from nests.

Grunting, honking, and whistling are all common ways in which these critters communicate with one another. To put it another way, as you might expect, visiting a colony of these animals is a highly noisy experience!

Curiosity is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of a booby bird, whether it is a blue-footed, red-footed, masked, or another species. In the event that a human approaches this seabird, it is unlikely to be alarmed.

Even landing on boats or other sorts of watercraft to observe the behaviour of the humans on board is something they are known to do! During the breeding season, these animals can become hostile.

For example, if two males are competing for the attention of a female, it is possible that they will engage in aggressive conduct toward one another. In addition to being interested and non-aggressive, they are generally peaceful animals.

You may also like to read;

Top 6 Smartest Birds: Everything You Need To Know

Do All Birds Migrate? Everything You Need to Know

Booby’s Natural Habitat

These are creatures from the tropics. The blue-footed booby can be found on the western shores of Central and South America, notably in the Caribbean. The Galapagos Islands are home to a large population of this species.

The brown booby’s range includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the Atlantic Ocean. This bird’s habitat encompasses vast swaths of the Pacific Ocean, which it uses to hunt for food.

During the night, this seabird remains in its land-based colony with its young. When it’s not in flight, it’s out hunting for fish in the ocean during the daytime. Despite the fact that they move in an ungainly and shaky manner on land, these seabirds are adept fliers.

When they spot a fish, they begin a dive from an altitude of 80 feet or higher, pulling their wings flat against their bodies as they begin to descend. Additionally, they have the ability to travel 50 feet beneath the surface of the ocean.

The nostrils of this species are protected by a flap of skin, which permits them to dive without water entering their nose. In addition, these seabirds have what is known as a third eyelid, which closes just before the animal reaches the surface of the water.

Consider a booby bird to be a champion diver who happens to be equipped with a natural nose plug and goggles! When you consider that the booby bird may travel at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour when it hits the water, it makes sense that it has developed these adaptations to ensure that it makes the dive safely.

These creatures do not migrate in any way. However, they do relocate to a nesting spot if they are within the range of their habitat. The breeding season for this animal lasts from June to August, depending on the location.

Booby Diet

This feathered species is a carnivore, which means it eats meat. They are known to hunt in groups, so when one of them discovers a school of fish, the rest of the group gets something to eat!

What Does Booby Bird Eats?

This bird’s diet consists primarily of fish, such as anchovies, sardines, and mackerel, as well as squid. Female booby birds have a greater ability to dive farther into the ocean than male booby birds. As a result, they may be able to consume fish that are larger than those captured by males.

What Eats Booby Birds?

Adult booby birds are not preyed upon by any natural enemies. Snakes, owls, and other large birds may prey on the chicks and eggs of this bird, which is why it is listed as a threatened species.

Booby’s Predators and Threats

However, while adult booby birds are generally safe from predators, their young chicks and eggs are particularly vulnerable. Snakes, owls, and other huge birds have been known to take and eat baby birds from their nests.

This species faces a threat from human-caused pollution of the water supply. In addition, weather events such as El Nino have had a negative impact on the clupeid fish population.

The booby bird population on the Galapagos Islands is primarily based on the consumption of this fish. The blue-footed booby has a conservation category of Least Concern, indicating that the population is steady.

Birth of Babies and Lifespan of the Booby

The blue-footed booby’s mating season is from June to August, depending on the location. A male blue booby struts around in an attempt to get the attention of a prospective mate. With his bright blue feet, he’ll be sure to stand out!

If the bird’s legs are bright blue or perhaps bordering on purple in hue, it is likely that the bird is healthy and will make for a great partner. Additionally, males may generate a whistling sound to attract more attention.

Once a female and male have formed a bond, they are committed to one another for the rest of their lives. Nests are built on rocky ground or in sandy areas near the coast by these feathery species. The nest is shaped like a bowl, as you can see in the picture.

It’s likely that by the time the eggs hatch, the nest will be surrounded by a border of poo. This is due to the fact that both the female and male relieve themselves at the nest in order to keep an eye on their small children.

These birds have a gestation period of 40 to 45 days, depending on the species. This is comparable to the gestation period of the gannet, which ranges from 42 to 46 days in duration. A clutch of eggs is usually comprised of two or three eggs.

The eggs are pale blue in colour and are not all the same size, which makes them difficult to identify. With their vibrant feet, the mother and father take turns sitting on the nest and protecting their eggs from predators and other predators. One of the members of the pair goes out in search of food for the other, who is responsible for guarding the nest.

Both their mother and father are responsible for feeding their featherless babies once they hatch. They are fully reliant on their parents for all of their needs. Because they lack feathers, the chicks are particularly vulnerable to sunburns caused by the intense heat of the tropical environment’s sun.

The parent birds use their feet to keep their young birds cool and protected. The chicks remain in the nest for a total of two months. After they have separated from their parents, it is likely that the young birds will live in the same general area as their parents.

When left to their own devices, these animals can live to be around 17 years old. A masked booby, which lived to be 25 years old, holds the world record for being the oldest species on the planet. It was a creature that lived in the Pacific Ocean region.

Population of Booby

Scientists estimate that there are between 6,000 and 10,000 blue-footed boobies living on the Galapagos Islands, according to their research. It is estimated that there are roughly 2,000 masked booby birds in the world.

Despite the fact that the number of this seabird has fallen in some locations, its overall population has remained steady. The blue-footed booby has been designated as being of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Booby Bird References

  • Booby Bird:
  • Booby Bird:

Leave a Reply