|Adult on Española Island, Galapagos Islands|
The Nazca booby (Sula granti) is a booby found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, primarily on the Galápagos Islands and on Clipperton Island. The Revillagigedo Islands off Baja California may be the northwesternmost limit of its breeding range.
The Nazca booby was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the masked booby but is now recognized as a separate species. They differ in regard to ecological and morphological as well as mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data. The Nazca booby co-occurs with the masked booby on Clipperton Island, where they may rarely hybridize.
Nazca boobies are known for practicing obligate siblicide. Mothers lay two eggs, several days apart. If both eggs hatch, the elder chick pushes its sibling out of the nest area, leaving it to die of thirst or cold. The parent booby cannot intervene and the younger chick inevitably dies. Two eggs are laid so that if one gets destroyed or eaten, or the first chick dies soon after hatching, the second egg will produce an offspring.
Adults that have failed to breed frequently seek out nestlings in their colony, and during those visits they often bite, preen and even try to copulate with chicks. The causes of this behavior are not fully understood.
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- BirdLife International (2012). "Sula granti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
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