The Unexpected Guest: Masked Booby Educates About Oceanic Conditions

masked booby collage outdoors at rehab masked booby collage of injury and rehabThe following story was shared with us by the Wetlands And Wildlife Care Center of California.

On December 18, 2019, Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center admitted a very unexpected guest. A masked booby was found on our local dog beach in Huntington Beach, California. This is a rare sighting for our area, as their closest geographic range is in Mexico.

According to speculation, boobys have been spotted off the shores of North America more often recently due to changing oceanic conditions. The masked booby arrived with blood in his mouth due to a possible dog attack while on the beach. The original cause of beaching appeared to be extremely poor feather quality, possibly due to lack of good fish nutrition.

Because these birds plunge-dive for fish in the ocean, it took awhile for him to recognize whole food presented while in captivity. Until we taught him to eat whole foods, he was fed EmerAid Intensive Care Piscivore.

While his feather quality has improved significantly during his stay with us, he still has some waterproofing issues that we discovered during an attempted release. Due to his unique species, he has been slated as an educational candidate with our local aquarium that hopes to bond him to a red-footed booby. That booby is currently being used to show the community how oceanic conditions affect pelagic sea birds and the fish they rely on for nutrition. Our masked booby relied on EmerAid IC Piscivore until he could fend for himself with whole foods.