Rare Brown Booby recovering in Victoria – British Columbia
A rare tropical Brown Booby bird is being treated at a rehabilitation centre after being found in Victoria, B.C., this week.
On Monday, the unusual bird — which typically frequents tropical ocean areas — was seen shivering at Ogden Point.
“It’s a really kind of weird-looking bird,” said Ann Nightingale, birder and volunteer at the Rocky Point Bird Observatory.
“In fact the name Booby comes from the Spanish name Bobo for clown because it looks quite clown-like.”
She says the Brown Booby is rare for Victoria and this is only the fifth such sighting in the city since 2009.
“It probably didn’t come by just one method. It probably flew part of the way and it probably got a ride part of the way, either on a ship or possibly on floating debris,” Nightingale said.
Because the bird appeared to be sick, the SPCA was called and the Booby was taken to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre where it is undergoing treatment.
First 72-hours critical
“What we found on intake is that she is extremely thin and she had some abrasions and irritations on her feet and then a small puncture on her chest area,” said Marguerite Sans, senior wildlife rehabilitator at Wild ARC.
“Based on how thin she is, we do have to be very careful and have an emaciation protocol so that we introduce highly digestible food very gradually.”
Sans said the first 72 hours of such a treatment program are critical to a bird’s survival.
The Booby is being fed a formula as specialists monitor its progress.
Depending on the success of the bird’s recovery, Sans said it could be released locally.
“If she’s in great body condition and has excellent feather and water-proofing, then she should be able to manage around the same area.”
With files from On The Island and Sterling Eyford.