Sula leucogaster (Brown booby)

Bruinmalgas [Afrikaans]; Bruine gent [Dutch]; Fou brun [French]; Brauntölpel [German]; Alcatraz-pardo [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora >Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Sulidae

Sula leucogaster (Brown booby) Sula leucogaster (Brown booby)
Brown booby, USA. [photo Jeff Poklen ©] Brown booby, USA. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Distribution and habitat

Widespread across tropical oceans, while it is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, with most records located near KwaZulu-Natal. It is also rarely sighted along the coast of Namibia and Mozambique.


It mainly eats fish, caught by plunge-diving, although it also hawks flying fish aerially. It often follows dolphins and gamefish, catching prey that they disturb.


It mainly breeds on islands in the north-west Indian Ocean and off the coast of Brazil, nesting in colonies on steep slopes.


Not threatened, although its population has decreased recently due to human exploitation.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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