Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brown Booby in Coos Bay, Oregon

Brown Booby
Brown Booby (left) and Double-crested Cormorant (right). Photo October 29, 2009 by Russ Namitz. Click photo for larger view.

Birders in Oregon were excited recently when an adult Brown Booby was discovered in Coos Bay.

The first photo was posted to Oregon Birders On-Line by Owen Schmidt on the afternoon of October 29.

Here are the details of the discovery, according to Russ Namitz:
At approximately 10:00 AM on October 26th, 2009, Suzette Eagler was crabbing with her husband by boat in the lower bay on the western shore of Coos Bay. She recognized the bird as possibly being a booby species and contacted OIMB. The message was forward Professor Jan Hodder who then emailed me in the afternoon. Tim Rodenkirk and I went out searching in the late afternoon and relocated the bird around 5PM. We called Dave Lauten and Kathy Castelein to inform them that we were looking at the bird. They drove to Fossil Pt. where I was still looking at the bird.

The bird was viewable from Fossil Pt., Pigeon Pt. and the highway overlook near the "Octagon" house, according to Namitz. The bird was roosting on a wooden day marker that was located between the floating red buoys 10 and 10A. Views, thus far, have been quite distant.

View Larger Map

The bird remained overnight and many birders were able to observe the bird.

There are 3 previous records accepted by the Oregon Bird Records Committee. Additionally, there are two word-of-mouth sight reports, amazingly from the same day in 1995, about 150 miles apart.

3 October 1998: juvenile 15 mi WSW of Depoe Bay, Lincoln Co. (The Bird Guide, Inc., OBRC accepted).
May 2005: 1 adult along coast of Tillamook and Lincoln Cos. (photo, OBRC accepted).
25 July 2005: 20 miles W of Winchester Bay, Douglas Co. (second-hand report, observed by Cameron Hinman)
25 July 2005: On beach at Seaside, Clatsop Co. (second-hand report, observed by Ron Pittard)
26 October 2008: Freshly dead beach-cast at Lighthouse Beach, Coos Co. (OBRC accepted)

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