Best 10 Booby Birds Facts, Habitat, Lifespan


Boobies (Sula nebouxii) are seabirds that belong to Sulidae family. The word booby is derived from Spanish word bobo which means foolish or stupid. These birds were named as boobies because of the way they walk on lands. They exhibit awkward movements. They are widely distributed in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

They have cigar shaped bodies, long bills. They exhibit long, narrow and angular wings. These birds are social birds and live in colonies which are very noisy because of numerous calls they make. These calls include honking, grunting and whistling. Boobies exhibit curiosity to know about the activity of humans because they often land on boats to check out their activities. These birds only become aggressive during mating season.

These birds are carnivores and can eat sardines, fish and squids. These birds form their nests in colonies. They often exhibit head nodding and jabbing for defending their territories. Courtship rituals include raising their feet and sky pointing in which their wings are extended horizontally followed by a long and continuous whistle.

They have average size of about 64 centimeters to 91 centimeters or 25 inches to 36 inches, average weight of about 0.9 kilograms to 1.8 kilograms or 2 pounds to 3.9 pounds, average wingspan of about 130 centimeters to 155 centimeters or 51 inches to 61 inches. They exhibit top speed of about 60 miles per hour.

Predators like snakes and owls eat younger booby birds. They are listed as least concerned by International Union for Conservation of Nature. They can live up to 17 years.

10 Booby Facts: 

Some of the facts about booby birds are as follows,

  1. Booby birds are found in Central America, North America, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
  2. These birds have wingspan of about 5 feet.
  3. Their most distinctive features are their large sized bodies and their coloured feet.
  4. They inhabit subtropical and tropical islands.
  5. They live in flocks.
  6. The chicks are eaten by snakes and owls.
  7. They are monogamous and mate for life.
  8. They live in the form of colonies. One colony can have 200 booby birds.
  9. They are closely related to gannets.
  10. Their feet remain deep blue or even purple when they take enough nutrients and vitamins.
  11. They are listed as least concerned by IUCN.
  12. They can live up to 17 years.

Booby Scientific Name: 

The scientific name of booby bird is “Sula nebouxii”. They were named as boobies because of their foolishness. They move awkwardly on land and often land on boats to see the activities of humans increasing the risk for them to be caught and eaten by sailors.

  • These birds belong to “Sulidae” family, “Aves” class, “Animalia” kingdom, “Chordata” phylum, “Pelecaniformes” order and “Sula” genus.
  • There are six species of booby bird. These include,
  • Blue footed booby (Sula nebouxii)
  • Masked booby (Sula dactylatra)
  • Brown booby (Sula leucogaster)
  • Red footed booby (Sula sula)
  • Peruvian booby (Sula variegata)
  • Nazca booby  (Sula granti).


Booby Bird Habitat: 

Booby birds are tropical creatures. Blue footed boobies live in Central America and South America. They are widely spread on Galapagos Islands. Brown boobies are found in Mexico Gulf, Indian and Pacific oceans and Caribbean. Masked boobies are found in the stretches of Pacific Ocean.

These birds stay on land during night and go in search of food during day. They exhibit excellent flight. During flying, if they see a fish they can dive from 80 feet above in the air. They can also travel 50 feet under water. These birds are considered as champion divers because they exhibit nostrils that prevent the water to flow up in their nose and third eyelid that protects them from hitting the surface of water. These adaptations made diving safe for them.

What Eats Booby Birds?

Chicks and young ones are eaten by snakes and owls. Adults don’t have any predator.

What Does The Booby Bird Eat? 

Booby birds are carnivores. They feed on sardines, anchovies, fish and squid. Females are able to eat large sized fish as compared to males because of their ability to dive deeper into the ocean.

Booby Bird Lifespan: 

The average lifespan of booby birds is 15 to 17 years. The oldest known booby bird is a masked booby bird that lived for 25 years.

Booby Population: 

The population of Blue footed booby birds is approximately 6,000 to 10,000. They live in Galapagos Islands. The estimated population of Masked booby birds is approximately 2,000.

Population of booby birds is decreasing in some areas but is stable overall. The conservation status recorded by International Union for Conservation of Nature is “Least Concern”.


Booby birds are one of the six species of seabirds that are found in Central America, South America, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They are carnivores and eat mackerel, anchovies, sardines, squids and fish. Though they walk awkwardly on land but they are excellent fliers and divers. Their population is stable and they can live up to 17 years.

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