MASKED BOOBY: A SPECTACULAR NEW BIRD SPECIES FOR ABACO


Masked Boobies, Norfolk Island  (Steve Daggar - Wikimedia)

MASKED BOOBY: A SPECTACULAR NEW BIRD SPECIES FOR ABACO

Hot avian news has arrived today from Woody Bracey: the 4th brand new species recorded for Abaco within the last 12 months has just been sighted in Abaco waters, north of Great Guana Cay. It was a single Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), a large seabird also known as a Masked Gannet (and it certainly looks quite gannet-like). [NB the photos in this post are obviously not of the new bird, but are illustrative of the species]

Masked booby & chick (Duncan Wright Wikimedia)

THE LOGGED SIGHTING DETAILS 

Date: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:00 AM

Location: Deep Sea 2-15 miles off Great Guana Cay, Central Abaco, Hope Town and Green Turtle Cay, BS

Protocols: traveling – party size 2 – duration 6 hours – distance 30.0 miles

Observers: Karl Kleim and Kim Kuhnle; Reporter via Ebird, Elwood Bracey

Description:  Single Masked Booby “Large white bird sitting on the sea with a yellow-greenish bill and no yellow on the head, then flew a few 100 yards showing the black trailing edge to the wings and wingtips and tail. Adult female.”

Masked Booby Sighting Map 1 jpg      Masked Booby Sighting Map 2

Masked Booby Sula dactylatra (Drew Avery / Amada44 Wikimedia)

EIGHT ESSENTIAL MASKED BOOBY FACTS

  • First described by A French naturalist in 1831
  • One of six species of booby in the ‘Booby’ genus Sula 
  • The largest Booby species
  • The only other Booby species recorded for Abaco is the Brown Booby
  • The closest breeding populations to Abaco are off Mexico and southern Caribbean
  • Silent at sea, whistling greeting call in nesting colonies plus a repertoire of ‘hissing and quacking’
  • Spectacular diving abilities
  • 2 eggs are laid: very often the first chick to hatch kills the second (“Siblicide”)

Masked_Booby_Chick by Pauk (Wiki)

The wingspan of an adult Masked Booby can exceed 5 feetMasked_Booby_(Sula_dactylatra) by Drew Avery

Here’s looking at you…Masked Booby (SuperStock) jpg

ABACO’S OTHER RECENT NEW BIRD SPECIES

and before that, a hugely exciting seabird find

Credits: Steve Daggar, Duncan Wright, Drew Avery, Pauk, Superstock, Wiki images & open source

15 thoughts on “MASKED BOOBY: A SPECTACULAR NEW BIRD SPECIES FOR ABACO

  1. Pingback: Mammal, reptile research on Caribbean Sint Eustatius island | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Green turtle conservation in Madagascar works | Dear Kitty. Some blog

    • Thanks Scott (if that’s a general observation!), but I really can’t claim credit for any of these ones, sadly – they are necessarily illustrative photos from elsewhere, because this single sighting in Abaco waters was not photo’d… RH

      Like

    • Hi Dou Dou, nice to hear from you. Pretty good aren’t they. But none of them mine – and I’ve never been to any of the location where these illustrative photos were taken. This single sighting in Abaco waters may well have been a one-off of a wandering lone bird. RH

      Like

  3. Spectacular!! They are so cute, adorable and wonderful, … ooh I feel hypnotized by this charming look … I’ll ask Siri & Selma if we should adopt one. 🙂 Loved this post, RH. Great photos!

    Like

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s