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Is It Time?
Masked Booby • Hawaiian name: ‘A
This Masked Booby’s humorous behavior is quickly apparent. Being a seabird chick that will have a 60” wingspan and is growing up on a remote wildlife refuge gives the young bird moments to experiment during the 118 days before fledging to those aqua waters.
Masked Boobies have an elaborate courtship. They attract mates by strutting, bowing, a series of head and wing movements, and a lot of parading around on the ground. At the chosen nest site, the male will present many objects, from twigs to feathers, to the female. She will pick and choose from these to build the nest. In Hawaii they feed by plunging into the ocean after mostly large flying fish but also dolphinfish, green halfbeaks, and adult mackerel scads. Spending more time ashore than most Hawaiian seabirds, they are at home on land as well as at sea. The oldest known masked booby lived to be 25 years 3 months old.
© 1996 Victoria McCormick
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