Sula dactylatra   Lesson,  1831 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Taxonomy
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Sulidae

Image copyrights: Chan Robbins

Description
Size: 81-92 cm, Range mass 1220 to 2353 g, Average wingspan 152 cm

Colour: adult white with black flight feathers and tail; facial and gular skin blackish to dark blue-grey; bill orange to yellow-green with black at base; legs and feet grey; eye yellow; immature dark grey-brown above with a dark brown head and white collar; underside of wings white with broad dark trailing edge and dark band parallel to leading edge; bill olive to pale horn.

Habits: Found solitary or in small flocks, plunge down vertically from a height and pursue the fish under clear water.

Sexes alike. Adult: Bill yellow or orange or greenish yellow, face and gular pouch (face-mask) blackish, upperparts mainly white, wing feathers and tail black, legs and feet yellow, orange, or greenish. Juvenile: Has brown head, neck and upperparts, whitish hind-collar, whitish scaling on upperparts, white underparts and underwing-coverts.

Breeding Season: Breeding seasons vary widely throughout the range of masked boobies; they can occur from February to August, January to July, and August to March. Nest- Masked boobies nest colonially; their nests are small hollows in the ground. Eggs- 1-2, both male and female incubate the egg.

Synonym (s)
Sula melanops (Heuglin, 1859)

Common Name (s)
• Masked Booby (English)
• Blue-faced booby (English)
• Shyam mukh waghomada (Gujrati)
• White Booby (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fishermen sometimes find schools of tuna by following feeding boobies; without knowing it, boobies provide fisherman with information on the best places to find fish. Boobies are also popular among birdwatchers.)
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Because masked boobies do not occur in dense populations, they do not seriously affect fish populations where they feed, nor are they important food sources for predators.)

Ecology
Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine, Open Sea, Rocky, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Mainly squids and fish.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern

Biogeography


• West Coast INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• PAKISTAN
• SRI LANKA
• MALDIVES
• Goa, Anjuna coast INDIA (Record: 04/08/1997)
• Goa, Dona Paula INDIA (Record: 08/11/1997)
• Karnataka, Sadashivgadh INDIA (Record: 23/06/1895)
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at - http://animaldiversity.org.
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • 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
  • birding.se Available at - http://www.birding.se/
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at - http://www.bnhsenvis.nic.in/pdf/BUCEROS%203%20(1).pdf
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at - http://www.itis.gov.
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at - http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintJournal/2000/October/344-349.pdf
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO
  • PBase Available at - http://www.pbase.com/

Page last updated on:2013-02-08

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