Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LA Boobies

Di wanted me to title this "Wanna See Our Boobies?" but I think it would send the blog into the porn section!  You might remember a post from 2 years ago about a Brown Booby that showed up in Cape May and hung around on a buoy for a few weeks. (Don't worry, another one showed up this year and got counted for the stupid contest)  If not - here is the link to that post.  If so, you will also recall that Boobies are very rare in NJ. Well, they are very rare in California too.  However, 2 types of Boobies are here now - a Masked Booby which is from the tropics and Carribean is doing it's best impression of the Brown Booby by sitting on a buoy in the LA harbor and allowing the dolphin and whale watching boats to get really close.  Check this out. The bird is named after the mask that can be seen around the eyes and base of the bill.

Masked Booby

This guy even mugged for the camera by waving at the passengers on the boat!  Hi there.

Masked Booby waving at the boat

The funniest part of the Masked Booby sighting is that Barbara found coupons for the boat trip and got us booked for Sunday at 3 PM.  We showed up to the dock and stood in line with the normal type of people and families who would sign up for a dolphin/whale watching trip but could see that a few other passengers also had binoculars and cameras.  It turns out that I knew another guy on the boat! What are the chances that a NJ birder that I met in a field in the Pine Barrens was on the same boat?  Crazy right? We just kept shaking our heads and laughing.
The Gang

We also had a great captain - Captain Chris who expertly maneuvered that boat  around the buoy for great photo opps. He also took us out and found Black-vented Shearwaters which was another lifer for all of us.

There is another type of Booby here in LA too - at least 4 Blue-footed Boobies have been hanging around on a jetty and are easily seen from shore.  Photo opps were not as great since we couldn't get close.  Here are a few so-so shots. I hope you can see the blue feet in the photos.

Blue-footed Booby - middle bird with white breast
 Here is another Booby (left) scratching his neck with his big blue paddle foot.  The middle bird is also a Booby but his head is tucked under his wing.  The big bird is a Pelican.

Blue-footed Booby

More to follow. I gotta catch a flight to San Francisco.


Josh Wallestad said...

Great birds! I'd love to feature a post on Boobies (the birds, of course) on my site birdingacrossamerica.com. Let me know if you're interested in doing a guest post.

Anonymous said...

Do what Josh said. You will be rich and famous and
can support all of us in our dotage. Well, I may already be there, but we'll save that for our dinner conversation. HH

Linda said...

Hi Josh - I'm no expert. I just happened to have a few close photos!

Mary @ Fit and Fed said...

That masked booby was a great bird. The yellow eyes with their dark pupils set in the 'mask' of brown feathers around the bill gave it an animal look, kind of like a monkey.