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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Masked Booby

Sula dactylatra ORDER: SULIFORMES FAMILY: SULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large seabird of tropical oceans, the Masked Booby is only a rare visitor to North America. It has attempted to breed in the Dry Tortugas in Florida, but it is most frequently encountered at sea in the Gulf of Mexico or off the southern Atlantic states.

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Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large waterbird.
  • White with black tail and black along back of wings.
  • Long, pointed, yellowish bill.
  • Long pointed tail.
  • Long pointed wings.
  • Dark face mask.

Immature Description

Juvenile has dark head, back, and wings, with a white collar, a white rump, and a clean white underside.

Range Map Help

Masked Booby Range Map
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Similar Species

  • Adult Northern Gannet has black only in wingtips and a white tail. Immature gannet can have dark tail and back edge of wings, but will also have dirty markings in the white body feathers. Gannet has feathering in front of eyes, boobies do not.
  • Brown Booby resembles juvenile Masked Booby, but has dark chest and neck, and lacks a white rump.
  • Blue-footed Booby has dark back, dirty markings on the head, and a dark bill. Juvenile has dirty dark chest and dark bill.
  • Red-footed Booby has a white tail and a pale face. Juvenile is dark all over.