Sulidae – Boobies & gannets

These seabirds have air sacs under their skin to cushion their bodies against the impact of breaking the water’s surface

Boobies and gannets are gregarious birds found in large colonies in tropical and temperate oceans across the globe. They are well adapted to swimming, with muscular legs, strong webbed feet, and streamlined bodies to reduce underwater drag. The oil from their preen glands is used to waterproof their feathers and combats parasites.

They breathe through their mouths, preventing water from entering their lungs while swimming. Boobies and gannets fly higher than other seabirds while scanning the ocean for prey. The birds hunt by plunging from mid-air to depths of 15 – 25m (49-82 ft) underwater to catch fish and squid. They also eat underwater to prevent harassment by other seabirds.