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Any of six or seven species of large tropical seabirds (family Sulidae), named for their presumed lack of intelligence. Two common species are wide-ranging in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans; another is found in the Pacific from southern California to northern Peru and on the Galápagos Islands. The booby has a long bill, cigar-shaped body, and long, narrow, angular wings. It flies high above the ocean looking for schools of fish and squid, which it snatches in a vertical dive. Boobies vary in length from 25 to 35 in. (65–85 cm). They nest in colonies but are territorial.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on booby, visit Britannica.com.