Booby Of Vietnam – Sulidae
The Sulidae family, commonly known as boobies, comprises ten species of marine birds distributed across the world’s tropical and subtropical oceans. There are three species Booby Of Vietnam – Masked Booby, Brown Booby, and Red-footed Booby – found in the coastal waters and islands, making for an exciting sight for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is the largest booby species, with a wingspan of over six feet. It has a white body and a black tail, wings, and mask around the eyes. Juveniles have brown and white mottled plumage, which is replaced by white plumage as they mature. Masked Boobies are pelagic birds, usually found far out at sea, but they breed on several islands in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and Con Dao Islands in Vietnam. During breeding season, the birds form large colonies and engage in elaborate courtship displays, with males performing aerial displays to attract females.
The Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is smaller than the Masked Booby, with a wingspan of around four and a half feet. It has a brown body and a white head, neck, and belly, with a yellow beak and feet. Juveniles are brown with white bellies. Brown Boobies are also pelagic birds, but they breed in colonies on islands throughout the world’s tropical oceans, including the Con Dao Islands and Hon Khoai Island in Vietnam. During breeding season, males attract females by showing off their nesting sites and performing courtship displays, which can include bill duels and preening.
The Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) is the smallest of the three booby species found in Vietnam, with a wingspan of around three and a half feet. It has a white body and a brown head, neck, and wings, with distinctive bright red feet. Juveniles are brown with white bellies. Red-footed Boobies are pelagic birds, but they breed in large colonies on tropical islands, including the Con Dao Islands in Vietnam. During breeding season, males establish nesting territories and engage in displays to attract females, including a distinctive “sky-pointing” display where they point their bills and heads skyward.
All three species of boobies found in Vietnam are marine birds, relying on the ocean for food. They feed mainly on fish and squid, catching their prey by plunge diving from the air or surface. Like other marine birds, boobies face threats from overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction. Conservation efforts, including protecting breeding colonies and reducing plastic pollution in the ocean, can help ensure the continued survival of these magnificent birds