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Sula variegata

Peruvian Booby

  • Order: Suliformes
  • Family: Sulidae


The Peruvian Booby is a brown-and-white Sulid of the Humboldt Current off western South America. Like the Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii), the Peruvian has brown upperparts, a gray bill, and white head and underparts. Peruvian, however, has gray rather than blue legs, a whiter head, more white mottling on the upperwings, and no white patch at the center of the lower back. This species breeds from northern Peru to central Chile on small coastal islands on cliff ledges or bare ground. While generally rather sedentary, El Niño events may trigger massive dispersal and vagrancy north to Colombia and south to southern Chile. During these events, the upwelling patterns of coastal Peru and Chile are altered, and the food sources that the Peruvian Booby and other seabirds depend on are effectively cut off. Typically, however, this species feeds in groups, often with other seabirds, by plunge-diving in pursuit of schooling fish.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

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