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Klaus Jost - Bildergalerie von Wildlife, Natur- & Unterwasserphotographie de /  en Klaus Jost - pictures of wildlife-, nature- & underwater photographie

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Photos of the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) sitting on a buoy and flying over the Midway Atoll/Hawaii.

There are only a few Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra) on Eastern Island/Midway Atoll. They breed on the ground, so that the eggs and young birds were easy prey for brought-in animals. Fortunately it is said that now there are no foreign animals anymore, and there is hope that the Masked Booby will recover again. With a length of approx. 80 centimetres and a wingspread of up to 1.70 metres, the Masked Booby is the largest representative of the tropical boobies of the genus Sula. The Masked Boobies’ food mainly consists of flying fish, octopus and other small fish. The biggest enemy of the booby and of other breeding on the ground is the human. Already the seamen in earlier centuries as well as the inhabitants of the island captured the friendly birds and their eggs without difficulty. Many stocks were severely damaged or even extinguished. Brought-in animals had also a devastating effect, because the birds were defenceless against them, as they did not know any enemies living on the ground. Many Masked Boobies, Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses as well as other sea birds die from the hooks of the long-line fishery. There are lines with a length of more than 100 kilometres with more than 20,000 hooks to which the fish baits are attached. As soon as the lines are let down from the boat into the water, the birds try to catch the easy prey. Often they get caught in the hooks and drown as soon as the line falls down through their weight.



Sula dactylatra
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species


Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)

Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower
Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower

Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower
Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower

Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)

Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra)

Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower
Masked Booby on a Navigation Sign Tower



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