Brown Boobies

The Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is a large seabird.


The Brown Booby breeds on islands and coasts in the pantropical areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as frequenting the breeding grounds of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

It winters at sea over a wider area.


The adult brown booby reaches about 76 cm. (30 in.) in length. Its head and upper body are covered in dark brown, with the remainder being a contrasting white.

The juvenile form is gray-brown with darkening on the head, wings, and tail.

Their heads and backs are black, and their bellies are white. Their beaks are quite sharp and contain many jagged edges. They have short wings and long, tapered tails.

Although they are powerful and agile fliers, they are particularly clumsy in takeoffs and landings; they use strong winds and high perches to assist their takeoffs.

Breeding / Nesting

Brown Booby pairs may remain together over several seasons. As part of the courtship ritual, they perform elaborate greeting “dances.”

They nest in large colonies. The average clutch consists of two chalky blue eggs that are placed on the ground in a mound of broken shells and vegetation.

Diet / Feeding:

They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface. They may catch leaping fish while skimming the surface.

Brown Boobies are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed.

Vocalizations / Calls:

Brown Bobbies are typically silent. However, they make the occasional grunting or quacking. sounds.

Brown Booby
Brown Boobies
Brewster’s Brown Booby
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster)
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster)
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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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