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Red-footed Booby

Sula sula ORDER: SULIFORMES FAMILY: SULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The smallest of the boobies, the Red-footed Booby is an uncommon visitor to the mainland United States. It is seen only rarely off the California coast and at sea off southern Florida, and it breeds in the Hawaiian Islands.

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Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large waterbird.
  • White with black along back edge of wings.
  • Long, pointed, pale gray bill.
  • Long pointed tail.
  • Long pointed wings.
  • Bright red feet.

Immature Description

Juvenile brown all over, with paler belly and darker band on chest. Wings all dark underneath.

Range Map Help

Red-footed Booby Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Red-footed Booby

    Adult
    • © Ralph Schreiber
  • Adult brown morph

    Red-footed Booby

    Adult brown morph
    • © Steve Kelling, Gal├ípagos Islands

Similar Species

  • Adult Northern Gannet has black only in wingtips and is much larger. Gannet has feathering in front of eyes, boobies do not.
  • Juvenile Brown Booby resembles juvenile Red-footed Booby, but has darker chest and neck, shows sharp cutoff between chest and belly, and has pale under the wings.
  • Blue-footed Booby has dark back, dirty markings on the head, and a dark tail. Juvenile has white belly and pale under the wings.
  • Masked Booby has a dark tail and a blackish face. Juvenile has clean white underside.