Rare blue-footed booby spotted in the Palisades

Blue-footed_Booby_flckr.jpgIn the bird world, I guess this is exciting news. A blue-footed booby — a species rarely seen around here — was spotted bobbing in the ocean off Gladstone's in Pacific Palisades. From SoCal Wild:

“I think I have looked out at the Pacific Ocean thousands of times looking for birds, but I have never expected to see this bird,” says Dan Cooper, independent biologist who spied this morning a blue footed booby at about 7:45 am off the coast of Pacific Palisades near Gladstone’s Restaurant.

Cooper had stopped at the overlook because an overabundance of small feeder fish – anchovies probably – was causing a feeding frenzy off the coast. That’s when he spied the stately bird with a handsome tapered beak floating on the waves. “Loafing, not feeding,” he says. “This is very rare.”

In his report to e-Bird, Cooper writes:

“It flapped once in about an hour of observation,and I was able to see it had whitish at the base of the tail/rump (also visible when it was facing away from me), as well as extensively pale wing linings. It had a very long, darkish bill, but this would “flash” pale, as would the crown and neck, depending on the angle…”

Later birder David Bell would spy that same booby and writes on e-Bird:

“About an hour later it came in closer to shore to join a group of feeding cormorants, pelicans and gulls around a pod of porpoises. The obvious irregular white spots above made it immediately obvious that it was a blue footed booby, a species I have seen many times in Mexico and occasionally elsewhere.”

According to Brenda Rees at SoCal Wild, the last report of a booby in Los Angeles County was in 1965 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.

File photo from Flickr

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