Brown Booby  |  

Sula leucogaster

The smallest of the Sulidae family, the Brown Booby is deep brown in colour on the back, upper breast, upper wing, head and throat. A strong demarcation is seen on the breast with white undersides. Under wings display a distinct white patch to the centre margined by deep brown. The iris may be cream, yellow, grey or deep brown. The bill is creamy-grey and males have a deep blue base (close to the head). Legs and feet are yellow. The average length of the Brown Booby is 65–75 cm with a wingspan of 130–150 cm. Birds weigh from 900–1500 g. (Lindsay 1986; Marchant & Higgins 1990). There is little difference between sexes, though females are slightly larger and have a chrome-yellow base to the bill instead of blue and brighter yellow feet. There is no seasonal variation in plumage. Juveniles and immature birds are also similar with a brownish tinge to white underparts (Lindsay 1986; Marchant & Higgins 1990). At sea, the Brown Booby flies and feeds individually or in flocks, sometimes in large mixed-species flocks, and often travel in extended skeins (a flock in flight). The species breeds colonially and roosts communally with other Brown Boobies or other species (Marchant & Higgins 1990).

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Sula leucogaster

    Climate Change Climate change and associated changes in weather; ocean currents and sea levels may have a dramatic impact on this species; since its nests on low islands can be inundated by high tides (Coate 1997 Marchant Higgins 1990).