Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) - Wiki
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[Photo] Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) from USFWS.
The Red-footed Booby, Sula sula is a large seabird of the gannet family, Sulidae.
This species breeds on islands and coasts in tropical oceans. It winters at sea, and is therefore rarely seen away from the 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.
This is the smallest booby, at 71 cm in length and a 137 cm wingspan. It has red legs, and the bill and throat pouch are coloured pink and blue. This species has two plumage forms. The white phase is basically white with black on the flight feathers. The brown form is brown with a white belly rump and tail. Both forms may occur together, as in the breeding colony on St. Giles Island, Tobago.
The sexes are similar, but young birds are greyish with browner wings and pink legs.
Red-footed Boobies are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface. Although they are powerful and agile fliers, they are particularly clumsy in takeoffs and landings.
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