Seeking small fish and squid that dwell just below the surface, the brown noddy searches for prey by hovering above the water, before swiftly grabbing it during flight or seizing it while sitting at the surface (2) (3). In the Galapagos, the brown noddy has been recorded stealing fish from the brown pelican (Pelicanus occidentalis), and it also associates with schools of predatory fish, such as tuna, picking off prey which have been driven to the surface by these underwater predators (2). Generally, the brown noddy forages along breaking waves or in lagoons that surround the oceanic islands on which it breeds (5).
The brown noddy lays a single egg each year, on bare ground, in makeshift structures of stones, pieces of coral and shells, or in elaborate nests constructed from twigs and vegetation. Breeding occurs at different times of year depending on the location; some areas have a specific breeding season, such as between April and August in the Seychelles, while in the Galapagos the brown noddy may nest during any month of the year. The egg is incubated by both adult birds for around 30 to 37 days. Once hatched, both adults share responsibility for brooding the young chick, providing it with heat and shelter from wind, rain and sand until it fledges at about eight weeks old (2) (3).