Family Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)


Abbott's Booby (Papasula abbotti)


French: Fou d’Abbott German: Abbott-Tölpel Spanish: Piquero de Abbott

Sula abbotti


, 1893,

Assumption Island


Previously placed in genus Sula. Monotypic.


Breeding confined to Christmas I, in E Indian Ocean; dispersal and foraging over long distances, but very little information available and at-sea distribution poorly known. Formerly bred on several islands in W Indian Ocean; fossil remains found in Solomon Is, W Pacific; a female at Rota (Northern Mariana Is) in mid-Apr 2007 represents the first documented record of this species in WC Pacific Ocean#R; recorded also in Banda Sea and Chagos Archipelago.

Descriptive notes

79 cm; male 1370–1620 g, female 1470–1700 g. A typical booby with large eye and large and coarsely serrated bill; in flight looks very slim, with long and... read more


At nest-site gives variety of calls, including loud “aaw-ah-errr”, also “oya-oya” and “ku-ark ko-... read more


Strictly marine and pelagic. Breeds in the rainforest canopy on the central C plateau of Christmas... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Feeds on fish, especially flying-fish (Exocoetidae), and squid. Presumably plunge-dives like other members of family.... read more


Fairly seasonal, most laying in May–Jul; breeds biennially or even less frequently, when successful. Fairly solitary, with maximum... read more


Very poorly known. Adults probably largely sedentary, given exceptionally long breeding cycle, but... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. Breeds at a single small island, on which it nests in suitable habitat in just one area; small population has declined rapidly as a result of effects of... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Abbott's Booby (Papasula abbotti). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).