28-31 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Although it is the smallest of these birds in Polynesia. It is a large bird with a powerful beak, a slender body, long narrow wings and a wedge-shaped tail. All adults have red feet and a red coral and blue mask at the base of the beak (bluish). There are four phases of plumage: brown, brown white tailed, white with black flight feathers, and finally white with black-tailed (with always the black flight feathers). Juveniles are brown and their feet are flesh-coloured.
In all tropical seas. In Polynesia it is present in the Society Islands, the Marquesas, the Tuamotus but also in Pitcairn and Line Islands.
Gregarious at sea and ashore on the breeding grounds or dormitories. It undertakes long journeys to feed itself, several hundred kilometres from the coast and returnes to land to breed or sleep. Niches on coral and volcanic islands or in isolated places of major volcanic islands.
Both sexes emit a shrill and repetitive sound in the nest, and sometimes in flight.
To listen the Red-footed Booby:
This species eats fish at day and night time, cephalopods and crustaceans. Like all birds of its species, it is capable of diving tens of meters deep, folded wings, to go catch a fish in the depths (a few meters). This species, however catches many of its prey near the surface of the sea.
Can form large colonies. Niches in the bushes or in trees. Recurs throughout the year. Reproduction studied outside French Polynesia. The spawn consists of a chalk-white egg of about 61 x 41 mm. It is hatched 45 days by both sexes. The young leave the nest after 100 days.
Fou à pied rouge et son jeune @Richard Février
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientific Name: Sula sula (Linné, 1766)
Ua’au, ua’ao, ‘euao, (Society), kariga, uakao (Tuamotu), uau, ua’ao, putu, ruru (Mangareva), kauhee, faufe’e, faufee, kakioa, tapu-vaekua, (Marquesas)
Common species in Polynesia. This species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.