Boobies and falcons…

Showing birders where the Blue Footed Booby is on a distant jetty.  Photo by Heather O'Connor

Kaaren showing birders where the Blue-footed Booby is located on a distant jetty.                 Photo by Heather O’Connor

There has been a lot of commotion along the California coast and Morro Bay is no exception. We had our own personal Blue-footed booby here for about 6 days on the south jetty of Morro Bay. In case you didn’t know, this is a bird that shouldn’t be here. It was first seen in Montaña de Oro by Kaaren Perry. It then flew north in the direction of Morro Bay. Kaaren remembered reading that they like jetties, so on to Morro Bay where she found it again and again and again for the many birders, who were not sure what they were looking for or did not have the optics to find it. As she described it to the many visitors who came by “It is a subadult, possibly second year bird. He stands erect with a long sloping forehead and straight beak with no hook.”

Blue footed Booby Photo by "Mike" Michael L. Baird,

View of the distant Blue footed Booby in front of a Brown Pelican
Photo by “Mike” Michael L. Baird,

A week ago we had thirty sightings of the Blue-footed Boobies from San Diego to San Francisco. This is a bird which normally resides in Mexico, South America and the Galapagos Islands. I was told the last time we were visited by a booby in Morro Bay was 1969 according to someones records.

Blue footed Booby   Photo by ©Hanne & Jens Eriksen

Blue-footed Booby in flight                                   Photo by ©Hanne & Jens Eriksen

I do write about the boobies because they are news, but I am still the “Falcon Man” and can’t help but say a few words about them. Bonding continues on the south side of Morro Rock more than ever. Besides sitting together and vocalizing a lot now he, the tiercel, is beginning to display courtship flights. Today they included three “wingovers” into near vertical stoops directly in front of the female as she sat on the “throne.” He ended each stoop with a circle around the rock to windward then returned along the face in front of her at mach something. This is cliff racing at its best for everyone to enjoy. This is way too early for this kind of activity, and if it continues ‘til breeding time all the zoom zoom might put a dent in the boom boom.

Happy trails, Bob

Breeding usually starts around Christmas, late December.


About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.

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