Tropical brown booby bird rarely seen in Oregon rescued on coast - KPTV - FOX 12

Tropical brown booby bird rarely seen in Oregon rescued on coast

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Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium
Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium

A tropical bird rarely seen in Oregon was rescued on the central coast.

The female brown booby bird was brought to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport on Feb. 4 after being discovered near Depoe Bay.

Following a ten-day recuperation period at the aquarium, the bird was flown to International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, California on Feb. 14. From there, the bird will be cared for until it is ready to return to the wild.

Brown booby birds breed off both coasts of Mexico, but typically only end up in the U.S. as vagrants after being blown off course during storms.

They have been recorded in Oregon less than 20 times, according to experts at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Because of the bird's rarity, aviculture staff took the unusual step of collecting the bird themselves, rather than asking the individual who reported the bird to bring it in.

"Due to time constraints, aviculture staff at the aquarium won't normally do 'bird calls' like that, but this bird warranted that extra step," said aviculturist Charlee Beck, who helped pick up the bird from a home near Depoe Bay. "The weather that day was awful, and we wanted to ensure that this bird received the timeliest care possible."

Despite being somewhat out of its element, the bird appeared to be in relatively good condition. Weighing 1,037 grams upon arrival at the aquarium, the bird was slightly underweight for its species, but had no major injuries.

Aviculturists introduced nutrition to the bird gradually, starting with fluids, then a fishy shake and finally whole fish to ensure the bird was adequately hydrated to successfully digest food.

The bird quickly put on weight and was strong enough to travel. The Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria arranged for a free flight for the booby courtesy of Alaska Air Cargo.

The word "booby" is derived from the Spanish word "bobo," which means "stupid fellow." The name was likely inspired by the clumsy movement of the birds on land, which is typical of seabirds, and their lack of fear of humans, according to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

People who find a wild animal they believe to be distressed should not approach or touch the animal. Instead, contact Oregon State Police at 800-452-7888, fish and wildlife officials or qualified wildlife rehabilitators.

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