Dana Point Harbor, Orange County, CA
29 March 2002
A large white booby about the size of adjacent Western Gulls with black wings and tail.
The bill was massive and conical in shape, dull yellow in color. The body was mostly white with faint brown streaking on the forehead and nape and dingy blotches on the side of the head. There was also extensive brown mottling on the back, visible when the bird turned and preened.
The facial skin at the base of the bill was dark, surrounding pale looking eyes. The forehead feathering cut straight across the top of the bill and did not extend far in front of the eye. Likewise the maxillary feathering did not extend forward of the eyes.
The wings and tail were black, but the upper lesser wing coverts were extensively contrasting white. The tertials appeared black when the bird preened. The tail coverts and rump were white contrasting with the black tail and brown mottled back. The bird stretched its wings a few times showing the underwings which were mostly white with brown mottling.
The legs were gray, but the feet were not seen because they were hidden behind a rock.
Additional photos by Maya Decker have been posted on my photo gallery here.
This is likely the same bird seen earlier in the year at LaJolla Cove. Detailed photos seems to show the same
pattern of wear and foot injury between the two birds although molt has resulted in a slightly whiter plumage now.
Click here for details and photos of that bird.
This is a different individual from the one released from rehabilitation which has also been seen in the area. That bird can be further distinguished by a red band on its left foot.