The Brown Noddy is a pan-tropical species and the most widespread member of its genus. In the vicinity of the Neotropics, three subspecies occur in the Caribbean, Pacific islands off Central American, and the Galapagos respectively. Except around their breeding colonies, the Brown Noddy is seldom seen near land and is highly pelagic, wandering extensively in warm tropical waters where it searches for small fish and squid which are captured by hover-dipping and contact-dipping. It is also known to steal fish from the open gular pouches of Brown Pelicans. The Brown Noddy is very similar to the Black Noddy, with which it is sympatric in many areas, especially the Caribbean, but is slightly paler with a stouter, shorter bill though distinguishing characters are subtle and require careful study.