Red-footed Booby at Nine Mile Bank 10-27-18

David Povey
 

I found an immature Red-footed Booby on the water among a feeding flock of Black-vented Shearwaters Western Gulls on The Nine Mile Bank  about 8.8 nautical mile (just under 10 statute miles) southwest of Point Loma. 32 degrees 36' 20.4" N and 117 degrees 24' 22.0" W and in U.S. waters.

This bird was a uniform dark booby with slightly paler head and neck ( coffee with cream colored) , dark billed . The long wings appeared darker that body.  as did the long pointed tail. Overall size similar to Western Gull, and much  larger that Black-vented Shearwater.

The bird was actively feeding on a small baitfish ball from the surface. Using a feeding tactic I not seen in boobies before. The Red-footed Booby sitting on the water, it held its wings open and extended, tail raised and head below the surface. The bird was clearly scooping bait fish raising its head to swallow. The feeding flock including the booby scattered as approached, and went off to the north.  This about 10:30 a.m. and this bird was not seen again until about 1:20 p.m. when it flew by headed south.

Two or three Brown Boobies were also seen today, none seen feeding, though several large areas of bait were forced to the surface by Skipjack Tuna. I continue to believe Brown Booby may target individual larger, more separate bait fish. Not these large dense bait balls.

Birds seen on the Nine Mile Bank and the trip back and forth to San Diego Bay (in very dense fog in the morning); This was a fishing trip so a relatively small area was covered on the Bank, perhaps a few square miles of the center.

Common Loon  1

Black-vented Shearwater  900-  1000

Brown Booby   2-3

Red-footed Booby   1

Brown Pelican   10

Brandt's Cormorant    5

Red Phalarope   2

Cassin's Auklet   20

Western Gull    200-300

California Gull    15

 

Dave Povey

Dulzura

 

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