Re: Oceanside Red-footed Booby
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My default expectation with boobies is that they have swallowed a fishhook. Several boobies, of various species, received by Project Wildlife have survived for some weeks, then died. When we received them at the San Diego Natural History Museum, dissection revealed the fishhook. I now caution any of our volunteers preparing a booby to watch out for such a fishhook lest it surprise us as we skin down the neck. But the last one we received, the Nazca, didn’t have one.
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of Matthew Binns
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2018 2:34 PM
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Oceanside Red-footed Booby
In light of Stan's comments about the condition of the Oceanside Red-footed Booby I think the following information is relevant.
The bird has reportedly been on Oceanside pier for about 2 weeks - I was shown a good photo of it taken on Sept 1st. It is being fed by people fishing and I watched it consume 3 live bait fish in the 40 mins I was present. The lady feeding it has been doing so for days and does stroke the bird's head, which it doesn't react to. I'm not an expert on avian stress, but I didn't see any behavior that indicated the bird was stressed, even though many tourists were taking photos on cell phones from close range. At one stage another woman (who was admonished by the people fishing) pushed the bird off the rail and it flew and landed about 50 yds from the end of the pier. It preened and washed for ~3 minutes, before flying off out to sea, where I lost sight of it. It is therefore well capable of flight and is choosing to return to the pier. I am not sure what actions Project Wildlife or other similar organizations might play to re-habilitate this bird. The bird may be sick, but at this stage is not showing symptoms. If it does in the future, help should be sought.