Brown Booby Brought In

Jen C. of the Alaska Raptor Center here in Sitka sent in a couple of photos to the Sitka Birds e-mail list this morning along with the following note:

Just wanted to send out a note to let everyone know that we picked up a brown booby last night. Yes, you read it right…a brown booby. It landed on a fishing boat off of Kruzof and just decided to stay there. They called at around 9 last night to have us come pick it up.

It’s doing alright, but has a wound on its back and was cold and is very thin. Not surprising, since it is WAY out of its normal range of Mexico!

Since it is in rehab, we are not allowed to have anyone view the bird, but I attached a couple of photos. Amazingly cool bird! I have never seen one before!

Given the (as far as I know) unprecedented nature of this record, I asked for permission to share the photos more widely.

I wonder if this is related in part to the warm ‘blob’ of water in the Gulf of Alaska. I noticed this morning that temperatures at the Cape Edgecumbe buoy are still 54F – I haven’t tracked that enough to know if that is unusual for this time of year, however. Regardless, it’s an exciting occurrence and thanks to Jen for sharing it!

Update My brother pointed me to this blog post about Hurricane Ana’s remnants hitting the the Pacific Northwest and wondered if that might have something to do with the bird showing up here.

Update 2: Jen passed on an update on the bird’s condition and a couple of newer photos. I’ve posted them along with her update.

8 thoughts on “Brown Booby Brought In”

  1. Looks like an near-adult female – feed her whole small fish, head first. If she is not in too bad of shape she should start to perk up pretty quickly. She’ll get bumblefoot if you keep her on a concrete floor so give her a thick branch to roost on. Also, have a hose handy – they are very messy birds. Once she gets better I don’t know what you do with her!

  2. This is an adult female from the eastern Pacific, probably S. l. brewsteri, not a female S.l. plotus, the form that occurs in the Hawaiian Islands and central Pacific. The females of the plotus subspecies have an entirely yellow bill, not pinkish toward the tip like this bird. Amazing that it found its way so far north. If its recovers well enough to be released, you might consider trying to transport it to a location with warmer water where its preferred prey species are likely to be more common. Otherwise it will struggle again after release.

  3. I realize this is coming late, but if this booby is as thin as you say, and judging by the photos, not very alert, start the bird on warm oral fluids (electrolytes) and a critical care formula for piscivores (or carnivores), something very easy to digest.

  4. Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions on identification and feeding. The bird seems to be doing well – I’ve posted an update from Jen (of the raptor center) – see the ping back link right above this comment. Thanks!

Leave a Reply