/ buːbi /
ETYM Spanish bobo dunce, idiot; cf. Latin balbus stammering, Eng. barbarous.
Small tropical gannet having a bright bill or bright feet or both.
Tropical seabird of the genus Sula, in the same family, Sulidae, as the northern gannet. There are six species, including the circumtropical brown booby S. leucogaster. They inhabit coastal waters, and dive to catch fish. The name was given by sailors who saw the bird’s tameness as stupidity.
One species, Abbott’s booby, breeds only on Christmas Island, in the western Indian Ocean. Unlike most boobies and gannets it nests high up in trees. Large parts of its breeding ground have been destroyed by phosphate mining, but conservation measures now protect the site.