29-33 inches. The largest of its category. It is a large bird with a powerful beak, a slender body, long narrow wings and a wedge-shaped tail. The beak is bright yellow for the male and yellow-green for the female. Both sexes have a black mask around the eyes (yellow) and beak. The rest of the body is white, except for the flight feathers and tail feathers which are black. Juveniles have the head, neck and top of the wings going from black to brown. For the sub adult, the dark colour of the neck, covert feathers fades in light brown spots.
Common in all tropical and subtropical seas. In Polynesia, it is present in Mopelia in the Society Islands. It has a wide distribution in the Marquesas and the Tuamotus.
Islands and islets (volcanic or coral) on isolated or uninhabited sites.
The female quacks like ducks, the male emits a mild ringing or quacking close to that of females.
To listen the Masked Booby:
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientific Name: Sula dactylatra Lesson, 1831
Kena (Tuamotu, Gambier)
Common species in Polynesia.
The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.