Texas Pelagics

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Masked Booby

by | Jun 15, 2022

Masked Booby  Sula dactylatra

Texas Coastal / Offshore Status: Uncommon to Common nonbreeding summer resident (May-October) in offshore and pelagic Gulf of Mexico waters. Birds are often seen in the relatively shallow continental shelf waters, sometimes in the vicinity of shrimp boats. On rare occasions, this species is found along the immediate coast.

Habitat: offshore and pelagic waters off the Lower Texas Coast.

Similar Species: Brown Booby has a browner plumage (dark brown breast) and yellow feet. Masked Booby, especially juveniles, may be confused with larger Northern Gannet, which is a fairly common migrant and winter resident along the Lower Coast. Although both species may be present off the South Texas coast in migration (Oct and May), there is very limited seasonal overlap. Virtually any sulid seen from the coast between Nov-May would be a Northern Gannet unless proven otherwise.

(2) Lower Texas Coast Status from Brad McKinney’s annotated checklist (updated 2009).

Seasonal Occurrence Graph

Texas Pelagics Sightings Distribution

This map shows the geographic distribution of Masked Booby found in Offshore Texas (and Gulf of Mexico)
Click on the box in the upper left of the map to view the map legend.
Click on each sighting symbol and the data label will appear showing the time, date and the number of birds seen.
Click on the symbol on the top right of the map to view a larger map.

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