Red Footed Booby

The Red-footed booby is one of the most interesting birds and it is the smallest of the booby species. It feeds on fish by diving into the water to depths of up to 98 ft to catch it’s prey. It also has the ability to fish at night when other birds are not able to. This allows them to feed without their prey being stolen from them. When diving for their prey they will wrap their wings close around their bodies. Their nostrils have the ability to close allowing for quick underwater diving.

Appearance

They have a life span that can reach 20 years or more. The average size is between 30 to 35 inches in length and their weight ranges from 30 to 39 ounces. Their bodies have a large variety of colors, but the main thing that stands out is the red color of their feet, which is where they get their name. Their bill is a pale blue in color. The young are usually brown or blackish-grey in color with a black bill and a black skin colored head.

Diet

The Red-Footed Booby is a carnivore and will travel over 90 miles to find it’s food. It’s main diet is squid and fish, preferring to catch Flying Fish, which it will catch in the air while the fish are flying out of the water. They also will feed on octopus when available.

Breeding

The breeding season takes place from January until September. They live in colonies and during the mating seasons hundreds of these birds are found together. The nest is made of loose twigs and sticks and is built in shrubs or trees as well as thick grass. They will only lay one chalky-white colored egg in a nest once within 15 months. When the egg hatches, both parents will take turns caring for the young chick. The incubation period for the eggs is between 43 to 49 days. Babies feed every 16-18 hours. Parents may still take care of the babies for as long as four months after hatching from the egg.

Habitat

They are non-migratory birds living in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. They live along coastal shores where they can easily fly to and from the open waters for feeding. The nesting and living habitat is constantly changing because of environmental changes in the world. They also must contend with people building on the beaches and shores where they normally would live.