Sula leucogaster   (Boddaert,  1783) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Peter LaTourrette

Size: 64-74 cm, Range mass 950 to 1800 g, Range wingspan 132 to 155 cm.

Habits: Generally solitary, but groups of a dozen or so also found, hunts alone, dives for caoturing food, feeds inshore, frequently alight on rocks and floats, nest on cliff or ground.

Sexes alike, male smaller. Adult: Dark brown head, upper breast and upperparts contrasting with white body and underwing-coverts, bill yellow. Juvenile: Similar to adult but has dusky brown underbody, which becomes paler on immatures.

Breeding season: Brown boobies breed once yearly. Brown booby breeding times vary across the world, with most breeding occuring from December to March, although breeding may be year-round in some areas. Nest- Nests are usually built on the ground in the midst of vegetation on rocky islands or coral atolls. Eggs- 2 , but only one raise one chick past the fledgling stage. It is thought that having a second egg is for insurance purposes, in case one egg doesn't make it.

Synonym (s)
Pelecanus plotus (Forster, 1844)

Common Name (s)
• Brown Booby (English)
• Badami waghomada (Gujrati)
• Brown Gannet (English)
• Common Booby (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Brown booby feathers were in high demand in fashion industry. Several countries are turning to ecotourism as a source of income and have set aside several islands with very strict regulations to preserve the natural environment. )
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Hunting (as their feathers are in great demand in fashion industry).)
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Presence of seabird nesting colonies (including Sula leucogaster on islands increases the productivity of certain trees (like mangroves) more than islands without nesting colonies. Recently, this species, Sula leucogaster, has been found to be one of the many contributing factors (along with all other nesting seabird colonies) to eutrophication of the surrounding waters of the islands they inhabit. Their nutrient-rich feces causes lower species diversity and greater dominance of mostly epiphytic biota but also macro-algae and phytoplankton. )

Habitat:  Pelagic, Open Sea, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  flying fish (Exocoetus species), goat fish (Mullidae), squirrelfish (Sargocentron diadema), mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta), and ommastrephid squid (Ommastrephidae)
Predator:  Sally lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) are the only known predators of brown booby hatchlings
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Goa, Anjuna Beach INDIA (Record: 02/06/1997)
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 12.83) (Long: 90.87) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • North American Birds Photo Gallery Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2013-02-08

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