Nests on small tropical islands, especially ones that are flat and without forests. Spends rest of time at sea.Back to top
Fish and squid.Back to top
Slight depression on ground, surrounded by circle of pebbles or other debris, often near a breezy cliff edge or other take-off feature
|Clutch Size:||1-2 eggs|
|Egg Description:||Light blue.|
|Condition at Hatching:||Nearly helpless, with sparse white down.|
Plunge-dives from various heights up to 30 meters (100 feet) into schools of fish.Back to top
There is little information on Masked Booby population trends, but it appears to be a species in decline. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental breeding population of 80,000-120,000 birds, rates the species a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of High Concern. Masked Booby is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. There is at least some mortality from tangling in fishing gear, but this problem is not known to be significant. These birds probably have frequent interactions with purse-seining tuna fisheries, as the fisheries often use Masked Boobies and other seabirds to locate tuna schools, but no data exist.Back to top
Grace, Jacquelyn and David J. Anderson. (2009). Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.
Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.
North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.
Pitman, R. L. and J. R. Jehl. (1998). Geographic variation and reassessment of species limits in the "Masked" Boobies of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Wilson Bulletin 110 (2):155-170.
Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.