Brown Booby: Large, gull-like seabird, mostly dark brown with white underwing coverts, belly, and vent. Blue-gray bill. Yellow legs and feet. Plunge dives from 30-50 feet. Feeds on parrot fish, flatfish, mullets, halfbeaks and other fish. Alternates strong rapid wing beats with glides.
Range and Habitat
Brown Booby: Worldwide in tropical seas; summer visitor to the Gulf coast and Caribbean Sea; casually farther north in western Atlantic; occasionally seen in southern California’s Salton Sea; accidental along Pacific coast. Pelagic, breeds on coastal islands.
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.
Brown Boobies were considered the most common booby at Midway Atoll in the 1930s. Today they are a rare sight. Rats, which have now been eradicated from Midway, are implicated in their decline. In late 1999, the first nest since 1963 was recorded.
Siblicide is exhibited by chicks. The first egg hatches several days before the second. The first chick to hatch ejects the second chick from the nest shortly after it emerges from the egg.
A group of boobies are collectively known as a "congress", "hatch", and "trap" of boobies.