Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Masked Booby
Sula dactylatra
(Viewing 4 of 4 photos)

Unless you are someone who likes to sit on headlands staring out to sea, you're not likely to see a Masked Booby from mainland Australia. The occasional vagrant has been seen near Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney, and south to the Dampier Archipelago in W.A. - they are very rarely recorded in the N.T. The easiest way to see them is to take a trip to Lord Howe Island around Christmas time when they would almost certainly be breeding. Lord Howe Island is the southernmost nesting island in the world for this species - they breed on islands around the world, mainly in tropical regions - in our region Lord Howe and Norfolk, Kermadec, Raine Islands and Swain Reefs in the east and off W.A., Bedout, Adele and Cocos-Keeling Islands are amongst the known breeding sites.

Masked Boobies can fly far from land out into areas of deep sea to feed by diving ; their diet includes flying fish and squid. Once adult, individuals return to the same breeding ground year after year where two eggs are laid but only a single young one makes it to fledging.

Photo: 105001

105001 ... Masked Booby, adult.

Photo: 105202

105202 ... Juvenile. Lord Howe Island.

Photo: 105203

105203 ... Masked Booby, Juvenile.

Photo: 105204

105204 ... Masked Booby, adult.

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