#ABArare - Red-tailed Tropicbird - California
While working on a Rhinocerous Auklet monitoring project on Año Nuevo Island, CA, biologist Jessie Beck heard an unfamiliar call, looked up, and saw a Red-tailed Tropicbird (Code 4 and by far the most difficult tropicbird to see in the ABA Area) right above her on April 30. The bird flew above and around the island for about 10 minutes, at times hovering only 20 feet above the heads of Beck and fellow biologist Jonathan Felis.
Beck and Felis lost sight of the bird after 10 minutes, but they then left the island at that time, so they aren't sure if it stuck around or not. Biologists will be returning to the island over the next several days and will report if it's still there.
Año Nuevo Island is located 22 miles north of Santa Cruz, and it is closed to the public. However, it's not far from shore and if the tropicbird stays in the area, it may be visible from the mainland. On Calbirds, Joe Morlan mentioned that a Masked Booby at the island could be seen from shore in 1998. The mainland closest to the island, Point Año Nuevo, is part of Año Nuevo State Park, but access is restricted. You will need a permit, issued on a first-come first-served basis, and it is open 8:30 AM to 5 PM (though entry is allowed only until 3:30 PM).