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SULIFORMES
Cormorants, Anhingas, Boobies / Gannets, and Frigatebirds are rather closely related. Some assign them to their own order Suliformes; others assign them to Pelicaniformes.


Boobies and Gannets

Order Suliformes     Family Sulidae

Family Sulidae is comprised of the gannets and boobies. One way to tell gannets from boobies is gannet feathers occur forward of eyes; booby feather stop at eyes.

They are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish and similar prey. Their body is streamlined which enables efficient diving. Like pelicans, sulids have a well-developed preen gland whose waxy secretions they spread on their feathers for waterproofing. They have stout legs and webbed feet, with the web connecting all four toes. In some species the webs are brightly colored and used in courtship displays. The bill is usually conspicuously colored, long, deep at the base, and pointed.


Genus Morus

Gannet, Australasian  Morus serrator   Found: Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
The Australasian Gannet has mostly white plumage; black flight feathers; yellow head; pale blue-gray bill edged in black; blue rimmed eyes dged in black.
Similar to: Masked Booby. Australasian Gannet has yellow on head; Masked Booby does not.
Image by: 1) Antoine Hubert - New Zealand  2) Dysprosia  - Melbourne Zoo  3) Sid Mosdell - New Zealand    4) Oystercatcher    5) Matt Binns - New Zealand  5 )  6) Dick Daniels  
4) Juvenile



Gannet, Cape  Morus capensis   Found: Africa
The Australasian Gannet has mostly white plumage; black flight feathers; yellow head, hind neck; pale blue bill edged in black; blue rimmed eyes with black borders.
Similar to: Masked Booby. Cape Gannet has yellow on head; Masked Booby does not.
Image by:  1) Vanessa Stephen - Zambia    2) Pim - Namibia  3) Ian White - Zambia


Gannet, Northern Morus bassanus Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
The Northern Gannet has mostly white plumage; black flight feathers; yellow head, hind neck; pale blue bill edged in black; blue rimmed eyes with black borders.
Similar to: Masked Booby. Masked Booby has more black on wings than Northern Gannet which only has black on wing tips. Gannet feathers occur forward of eyes; booby feather stop at eyes.
Similar to: Red-footed Booby. Black on Red-footed Booby wings extends closer to tail than does black on Northern Gannet wings.
Image by:  1, 7) Alan D Wilson - Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec    2, 3) Dick Daniels - off the coast of Sunset Beach, North Carolina   4, 5, 6) Dick on the Cape May Ferry 
1) Chick  2, 3) juveniles




Genus Papasula - 1 species

Booby,_Abbott's   Papasula abbotti   Found: Christmas Island in Indian Ocean
The Abbott's Booby has mainly white plumage; black wings, rump, tail.
Image by: 1) OrangeIsland



Genus Sula

Booby, Blue-footed Sula nebouxii   Found: North America, South America, other Pacific Islands
The Blue-footed Booby has brown wings; brown head and neck with white streaks; white underparts; bluish feet.
Similar to: Peruvian Booby. Adult Peruvian Booby has pure white head, neck; adult Blue-footed booby has brown head with white streaks. Juvenile Blue-footed Booby has brown wings with no white; juvenile Peruvian Booby have darker brown wings with some white on them.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - Galapagos Islands   
1, 2) Juvenile




Booby, Brown   Sula leucogaster   Found: Warm waters of North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia
The Brown Booby has dark brown upperparts, breast; white belly.
Similar to: Masked Booby.  Juvenile Masked Booby has brown head and neck; adult Brown Booby has darker brown head, neck, and upper breast.
Image by: 1, 2) New Jersey Birds   3) dFaulder  4) Charlie Westerinen  - off San Diego, California  5) Claudio Timm - Paraná, Brazil  6) Dick Daniels - Puerto Rico  7) Dick - Kauai, Hawaii
1) Juvenile  7) From left to right: two Brown Boobies and a Great Frigatebird pursuing a Red-footed Booby that probably has a fish.


Booby, Masked  Sula dactylatra Found: North America, South America, Euope, Asia, Africa, Australia
Masked Booby has black on wings, tail; small black mask; white head, neck, back, underparts. Juvenile has brown head, neck.
Similar to: Australasian Gannet. Australasian Gannet has yellow on head; Masked Booby does not. Gannet feathers occur forward of eyes; booby feather stop at eyes.
Similar to: Brown Booby.  Juvenile Masked Booby has brown head and neck; adult Brown Booby has darker brown head, neck, and upper breast.
Similar to: Nazca Booby. Nazca Booby mainly found on Galapagos Islands;  Masked Booby has larger range. Nazca Booby's bill is orange at base and darker than yellow base of Masked Booby.
Similar to: Norrthern Gannet. Masked Booby has more black on wings than Northern Gannet which only has black on wing tips. Gannet feathers occur forward of eyes; booby feather stop at eyes.
Similar to: Red-footed Booby. In flight, Red-footed Booby can be distinguished from Masked Booby by its all white tail. But the black-tailed morph of Red-footed Booby can be problematic.
Image by: 1) Dwayne Meadows, NOAA - Hawaii  2, 3) Tony Morris  4) angrysunbird - Hawaii  5,6) Coracias garrulus - Brazil
1) Juvenile



Booby, Nazca Sula granti Found: South America
The Nazca Booby has black on wings; small black mask; white head, neck, back, underparts. Juvenile has brown upperparts, head, neck.
Similar to: Masked Booby. Nazca Booby mainly found on Galapagos Islands;  Masked Booby has larger range. Nazca Booby's bill is orange at base and darker than yellow base of Masked Booby.
Image by: 1) Kath B   2) NH53  3) Allan Harris  4) Pekkab Isomursu    5) Putneymark  6) Soler97
1, 2) Juvenile



Booby, Peruvian  Sula variegata  Found: Peru
The Peruvian Booby has brown wings with white markings; white head, neck, underparts.
Similar to: Blue-footed Booby. Adult Peruvian Booby has pure white head, neck; adult Blue-footed booby has brown head with white streaks. Juvenile Blue-footed Booby has brown wings with no white; juvenile Peruvian Booby have darker brown wings with some white on them.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak  2) Mathew Goulding  3) Ronald Woan  4) Martin Garcia


Booby, Red-Footed Sula sula Found: North America, South America (Galapagos Islands), Asia, Australia
The Red-footed Booby has red legs; pink and blue bill; throart pouch. White morph has mostly white plumage; black flight feathers. Black-tailed morph similar to white morph, but has black tail. Dark morph has brown plumage.
Similar to: Masked Booby. In flight, Red-footed Booby can be distinguished from Masked Booby by its all white tail. But the black-tailed morph of Red-footed Booby can be problematic.
Similar to: Northern Gannet. Black on Red-footed Booby wings extends closer to tail than does black on Northern Gannet wings.
Image by: 1) Sara Yeomans - Galapagos  2) Roy and Danielle - Galapagos  3)   Charles Sharp - Galapagos    4) Dick - Hawaii  5, 6, 7)  Gregg Yan - Philippines  8, 9, 10) Dick Daniels - Hawaii   
1, 2, 3) Dark adult  4) Chick  5 - 10) White adult







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