Species Index

Sula leucogaster
(Boddaert, 1783)

Common Name: Brown Booby

Distribution: Occurs in, but is not restricted to, tropical waters of all major oceans. Found from Bedout Island in WA, across northern Australia to the Bunker Group of islands in QLD, with occasional reports further south in NSW and VIC.

Ecological Notes: Spectacular divers, plunging from height into the ocean at high speed. It mainly eats small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface, even catching leaping fish while skimming the surface. The diet is comprised mainly of flying-fish, squid and some other cephalopods, as well as mullet (Mugil spp.) and anchovy (Engraulis spp.)

Additional Notes: Although it is a powerful and agile flyer, it is particularly clumsy in take-offs and landings; it uses strong winds and high perches to assist its take-offs.

References: eBird Australia at Accessed 13 August 2023.
Department of the Environment, Canberra (2020). 13 August 2023.