Red-footed Booby

Sula sula
Red footed boobies

Red-footed boobies are the smallest of all boobies. Their legs and feet are red and the bill is pale blue. Juveniles are wholly brown or blackish gray with black bill and facial skin and gray legs. Immature have patchy underwings without definite pattern, white back, mottled gray-brown head, and red or brownish legs. They are polymorphic; few seabirds display such a variety of color phases.

Adult birds range from all brown to having a white head and tail with a brown mantle to being all white except for the upperwings which have black primary and greater secondary coverts.

Nests are built of twigs and sticks exclusively on the tops of the minimal shrubs available at Howland Island. 

They are monogamous and begin breeding at 4 years of age. A single, chalky, white egg is laid. Re-laying can occur if first egg is lost. They lack a brood patch and incubate with their feet. Males and females share incubation duties with individual 24 hour incubation shifts. At other sites where they have been studied incubation period ranges between 42-45 days. Chick feeding occurs once every 16-18 hours. Fledging ranges between 95-101 days after hatching. Post-fledging care and feeding can continue for 1 to 4 months.

Facts About Red-footed Booby

Red-footed boobies feed by diving vertically into the water and rarely within sight of land. They may dive up to 30 meters to pursue prey - flying fish and squid. They feed singly or in mixed species flocks, anytime during the day and after dark.
Life Span
22 years
Length: 66-67 cm (26-30 in); wingspan: 91-101 cm (36-40 in)