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Red-footed Booby Life History


Habitat OceansNests mainly on coral atolls or volcanic islands in tropical seas. Spends rest of time at sea.Back to top


Food FishSquid and fish, especially flying fish.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

Large open platform of twigs, lined with grasses or leafy matter, placed in small tree or shrub.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:1 egg
Egg Description:Chalky white.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless.
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Behavior Aerial Dive (water)Plunge-dives from various heights into schools of fish. May catch flying fish in the air. May grab prey at surface.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernRed-footed Booby populations are scattered throughout the world, with larger concentrations in Pacific coastal areas and islands. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental population of 300,000 breeding birds, rates the species a 15 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of High Concern. Red-footed Booby is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Human poaching and interference has resulted in large declines in populations over the last 200 years. Still commonly taken as food in some areas, and populations appear to be continuing to decline.Back to top


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.

Schreiber, Elizabeth A., R. W. Schreiber and G. A. Schenk. (1996). Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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