Birds of Kīlauea Point
Red-footed Booby / Sula sula rubripes / ‘A
Red-footed boobies can be seen year-round at Kilauea Point. Approximately 1,400 to 2,500 pairs nest at the refuge annually.
Feeds by diving vertically into the water and rarely within sight of land. May dive up to 10 meters to pursue prey, primarily flying fish and squid. Feeds singly or in mixed species flocks. Feeds anytime during the day and after dark.
Breeding season ranges from late January through September. Nests are built of twigs and sticks on tops of wilelaiki (Christmas berry Schinus ferebinthifolius) and tree heliotrope (Tournefortia argentea), both nonnative shrubs, and on the branches of ironwood (Casurina equisetifolia). The refuge is restoring a native coastal plant community to provide the following native habitat species: naupaka (Scaevola sericea) and hala (Pandanus tectorius).
Begin breeding at four years of age. Monogamous. A single, chalky, white egg is laid. Re-laying can occur if first egg is lost. Lacks brood patch. Incubates with feet. Male and female share incubation duties. Individual incubation shifts average about 24 hours. Incubation period is approximately 43 days. Chick feeding takes place once every 16-18 hours. Fledging occurs approximately 91 days after hatching. Post-fledging care and feeding can continue for one to four months.