Friday, December 14, 2012

Creature Feature: Brown Booby

No, not that kind of booby! These birds are more common than seagulls in the Caribbean. The juveniles are all brown, but adults have a white belly. They feed on fish and squid, which they catch by plunging into the ocean from above. They’re pretty spunky, and we’ve seen them defending their catch from frigate birds that apparently were too lazy to catch their own dinner. Brown boobies build their nests on the ground, which unfortunately subjects them to predation by non-native predators that have been introduced on many islands. This adult booby was on a rock at Christmas Cove, near St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It didn’t care that I swam up and took pictures of it. It even seemed to be posing!

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