aba events

#ABArare – probable Nazca Booby – California

facebooktwitter

While on a Harbor Breeze Tours whale-watching trip out of Long Beach on June 27, Tim Hammond found and photographed what was initially identified as a Masked Booby about four miles off of Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County waters. Subsequent study of the photos suggest that the bird looks good for Nazca Booby, which would be a potential first ABA Area record.

Photo by Tim Hammond, used with permission

Photo by Tim Hammond/Harbor Breeze Tours, used with permission

More photos by Tim Hammond available here.

Subsequent trips to look for the bird in the vicinity of the initial sighting have been thus far unsuccessful, but there are reportedly many Masked Boobies in the area so it may still be in the area.

Nazca Booby was formerly considered conspecific with the very similar Masked Booby, but differs from the latter in a couple notable ways. Adult Nazca Boobies tend to have a orangy-pink tone to the bill, whereas Masked Booby is more greenish-yellow. Immature birds are more difficult, and there are a handful of young boobies seen in California over the years about which birders were unable to make the distinction.

Nazca Booby has been conclusively reported in the ABA Area one time before, an immature individual which rode a boat into San Diego county from adjacent Mexican waters in 2001. While ABA rules do not preclude ship-assistance as a valid means of arriving to the ABA Area, the bird was not accepted by the California Bird Records Committee and therefore, never considered by the ABA Checklist Committee.

Nazca Booby breeds primarily on the Galapagos Islands but also as far north as the Revillagigedo Islands SSE of Baja California, Mexico (the largest of which is Socorro). Boobies are strong flyers and prone to dispersal, so the species may be more regular in ABA Area waters than the records would suggest, but because of the aforementioned identification difficulties it goes unnoticed. Birders have noted that the strong El Niño predicted this summer and currently forming, may create conditions conducive to movements of southerly birds towards the ABA Area, as evidenced not only by this bird, but an early influx of Craveri’s Murrelets and Masked Boobies in southern California waters.

The following two tabs change content below.
Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
Nate Swick

Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Recent Comments

  • Mark Brown, in #ABArare - Kelp Gull - California... { Kelp Gull seen on the Farallons May 24, 2015. https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647@N02/17462281603/in/dateposted . }
  • Alan Wormington, in Rare Bird Alert: May 22, 2015... { Mottled Duck in Ontario was actually at Hillman Marsh, not Wheatley which is several miles away. Last night (May 26) there was also a GRAY... }
  • Madeline, in Blog Birding #236... { All of us should check the link to the International Bird Rescue blog -- if only to look at the right hand side which lists... }
  • Lucinda Nevzoroff, in #ABArare - Hawfinch - Alaska... { I've been watching 3 hawfinches in my yard in atka alaska, maybe even four. 3 for sure. one female and two males. the fourth one... }
  • Tom Ford-Hutchinson, in #ABArare - Tufted Flycatcher - Arizona... { To clarify the second photo is a photo of my friend Matt Grube's shot of it on the nest. }
  • Older »

Categories

Authors

Archives

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Meet Dessi Sieburth, 2015 ABA Young Birder of the Year May 17, 2015 12:00
    Learn more about Dessi Sieburth, the 12-year-old 2015 Young Birder of the Year! […]
  • Wildlife Ecology Research April 22, 2015 11:35
    Rensselaerville Falls, Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station. July 13, 2014. What: Wildlife Ecology Research Program for high school students entering their Junior or Senior Year. Where: Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station 5052 Delaware Turnpike Rensselaerville, NY 12147 When: Late applications due May 1 by 5 PM, EDT. Session I—July 5-26 Session II—August […]
  • Young Birder Blog Birding #37 April 8, 2015 4:19
    For many birders, February is a month of waiting. After February, the snow will melt and the first Killdeers and American Woodcocks will usher in a parade of exciting spring migrants. […]

Follow ABA on Twitter