LEO Network

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada

Observation by Allan Crow: On August 29/2009 2 pm PST, while traveling east toward Sooke Harbour from Otter Point in the Juan de Fuca Strait, a Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) landed on the crossbar of the pole rigging on my fishing vessel. I immediately recognized it was not a native species. The bird appeared extremely tired and rested there for about an hour as I traveled eastward. As I was entering the Sooke Basin the Brown Booby flew east toward East Sooke Regional Park. I took photos with my cellphone camera and reported the sighting to the Victoria Natural History Society's bird sighting hotline. The Brown Booby was spotted on land by other observers on the east side of East Sooke Regional Park several hours later, just before dusk. No other sightings were reported. The Brown Booby has rarely been observed as far north as Vancouver Island. Allan Crow, Sooke, British Columbia, Canada.

Comment by Tom Okey, LEO BC Coordinator: This Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) was sighted far to the North of the normal range of this species (Figures 4 and 5). These range maps are found at BirdPhotos and the Handbook of Birds of the World based on work by Ridgely et al (2005) and Carboneras et al (2017), respectively.

On the ebird database (accessed on 7 February 2017), no Brown Booby in the North Pacific had been recorded north of Southern California's Channel Islands until 1988 when Dan Robinson and Bruce LaBar observed one at Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel Bay, California. No Brown Boobys had been observed north of San Francisco until 1997 when one was recorded by Scott Downes at Diamond Point, Clallam, Washington in the Juan de Fuca Strait. The next one recorded north of San Francisco is the present observation by Allan Crow made in 2009. Since then, several additional Brown Booby sightings have been made in Puget Sound, the Juan de Fuca Strait, and in the Juan de Fuca Eddy. See the ebird observation map for the Brown Booby.

Links: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown_Booby/id




Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52625 on 6 February 2017).

Ridgely, R. S., T. F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D. K. McNicol, D. W. Mehlman, B. E. Young, and J. R. Zook. 2005. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 2.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA. Additional updates and changes by BirdPhotos.com 2016.


Figure 1. Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) on mast rigging of fishing vessel.
Figure 2. Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) on mast rigging of fishing vessel.
Figure 3. Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) on mast rigging of fishing vessel.
Figure 4. Americas range map of Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster). Range data provided by Infonatura/Natureserve and BirdPhotos.com, originally from Rigeley et al 2005, and updatged by NatureServe in 2016.
Figure 5. Global distribution map of Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster). From Carboneras et al. (2017).

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