Brown Booby (species: Sula leucogaster) in taxonomy (Gaia Guide)
Sula leucogaster
Brown Booby

©Geoffrey Shuetrim and Alex Heath: Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster)

©Dominic Sherony: Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster)

©Anne: Brown boobies in flight near Lizard Island, January 2012
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Sulidae
Genus Sula
Species Sula leucogaster
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

Its head and upper body are covered in dark brown, with the remainder being a contrasting white. The juvenile form is gray-brown with darkening on the head, wings and tail.

Their beaks are quite sharp and contain many jagged edges. They have short wings and long, tapered tails. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 80 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Females
  • Up to 75 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Males


  • Up to 150 cm - applies to Females
  • Up to 140 cm - applies to Males



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

This species breeds on islands and coasts in the pantropical areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They frequent the breeding grounds of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. (Wikipedia)

Local abundance

  • Lady Elliot Island: They are often seen roosting on the mooring barrels and boats on the western side of the island.

Audio recordings



© Alejandro Salinas



© Tero Linjama


Although they are powerful and agile fliers, they are particularly clumsy in takeoffs and landings; they use strong winds and high perches to assist their takeoffs. (Wikipedia)


They are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface and may catch leaping fish while skimming the surface. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (1996). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Fifth Edition Penguin Books, Australia.
  • Smith, G.C. (1987). The birds of Eagle Island, a tropical sand cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, The Sunbird, 17(1): 1-11. LIRS catalog number 245.