Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bow-riding Red-footed Booby

This is the seventh and final post showcasing photos from the full day pelagic trip off San Diego on August 19th. We were mostly done birding at the end of our trip. But there was one more rare bird we wanted to see and photograph.

The Captain got word that a fishing boat that was about 15 minutes behind us had a bow riding Red-footed Booby! Even though we had all gotten great looks at a different Red-footed Booby only 4 hours earlier at sea, this was too rare of a bird to pass up.

As we dallied in the mouth of the bay, we soon spotted the Liberty and could make out the booby. The boat then pulled alongside and we rode together for 20 minutes back to the dock. This bird remained at least 3 days on this boat, riding out to sea and back to the dock each day. Evidently on the 4th day it flew from the boat while at sea. I hope that means it survived. Ship riding is not unusual behavior for boobies, frigatebirds, and some other seabirds. But a bird remaining aboard for several days likely means the bird is ill.

Fishing Vessel Liberty, San Diego Bay

I took over 300 photos of this bird. These are the only ones I kept. Most were quite similar. I just tried to get less distracting and blurred backgrounds with the bird looking my direction. Failing that (for the most part) I then tried quite a few shots with small aperture to see if I could get the bird with the San Diego skyline in focus too. Here are my shots.

Red-footed Booby, San Diego
Red-footed Booby. San Diego, California. August 19, 2018.
Red-footed Booby, San Diego
Red-footed Booby, San Diego
Red-footed Booby, San Diego
Red-footed Booby, San Diego
Red-footed Booby, San Diego skyline

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