North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO2 2015

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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r e d - f o ot e d b o o b y i n n o va S c ot i a a n d c a n a d a 176 n o r t h a m e r i c a n b i r d s uated by the Alaska Bird Records Committee (Thede Tobish, pers. comm.). It is worth noting that Brown Booby (S. leucogaster) and Blue-footed Booby (S. nebouxii) have recently shown strong north- ward dispersal patterns, presumed to be directly or indirectly associated with warm- ing oceans and changes in prey availability. Since 2008, there have been at least ffteen Canadian records of Brown Booby, from six provinces, and the country's frst Blue-footed Booby was recorded near Stubbs Island, Brit- ish Columbia 24 September 2014 (Brinkley 2014, Roy 2014). With increasing evidence of shifts in ma- rine ecosystems, pelagic seabird surveys, such as those conducted by Eastern Canada Seabirds at Sea program, are critical to un- derstanding changes in seabird status and distribution. Acknowledgments We acknowledge the Department of Fish- eries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson for their continued sup - port of the Eastern Canada Seabirds at Sea Program, Canadian Wildlife Service, Envi- ronment Canada. In particular, we would like to thank Andrew Cogswell and Dave Hebert, as well as the science staff, offcers, and staff associated with the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program (AZMP). We thank Bruce Anderson, Louis R. Bev- ier, Steve N. G. Howell, Greg Jackson, Paul Lehman, Mark Lockwood, Ian McLaren, and Thede Tobish for their additions to this pa- per and Bridget Thomas (Science and Tech - nology Branch, Environment Canada) for information on the September storm event. Finally, we thank Ian Lewington for gra- ciously permitting publication of his paint- ings from Rare Birds of North America in the frontispiece. Literature cited Armada, R. 2010. The Red-footed Booby in Spain. Birding World 23: 524-529. Arnold, K. A., and B. D. Marks. 2009. Recent Texas specimens of Red-footed and Brown Boobies. Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society 42: 95-96. available data are recorded as pertaining to the nominate subspecies. In the Atlantic north of Florida, Red-footed Booby is unreported from Georgia, but there is a record from South Carolina, a moribund male brown morph found 27 July 1986 at Edisto Island State Park (Post and Murphy 1987). This South Carolina record was pre- viously the northernmost record of the spe- cies in the western North Atlantic, where the nearest regular nesting grounds are at Mona Island, Puerto Rico, about 2760 km from the encounter with the bird off Nova Scotia. In the eastern North Atlantic, there are three records from Europe, all recent, and all from latitudes similar to the observation off Nova Scotia: off Estepona, Spain 11 August 2010 (Hopkins and Hopkins 2010, Armada 2010), at l'Empordà, Spain 4-7 December 2010 (Gutiérrez 2010), and at Lac de Sainte-Croix, France 2-14 July 2011 (Reeber et al. 2012). The Spanish records could pertain to the same immature individual (Steve Howell, pers. comm.); the French record was remarkably of an adult found on an inland reservoir. It is conceivable that the booby observed off Nova Scotia was carried up the Gulf Stream by a storm with a strong southerly fow and max- imum wind speed over 60 km/hr (33 kts) that moved through area the day before (Environ- ment Canada Meteorological Service, unpubl. data). Flying fsh (Exocoetoidea) are known to be a main part of Red-footed Booby's diet (Schreiber et al. 1996) and were recorded by Abbott in the area where the booby was encountered during subsequent seabird sur- veys on 23 and 25 September 2014 (Figure 1). There are numerous accounts in the litera- ture of Red-footed Boobies following and rid- ing on ships, waiting for ships to fush fying fsh, which the birds then catch on the wing or by diving. One Red-footed Booby even fol - lowed a yacht from Hawaii to Alaska, arriving 17 August 1999 at Kodiak, from which it was returned by plane to Anchorage, then to Maui (Tang 1999). This bird was in poor condition during the last few days of the voyage and was captured and taken into care by the crew; it has not been considered part of the Alaskan avifauna and is not on the state's offcial list, though the record has not been formally eval- derson 1994). Since publication of Birdlife of Florida, there has been a stark increase in records of the species from other parts of Florida. Since 1992, in addition to mini- mally eleven reports involving 10-15 birds around the Dry Tortugas, there are eight additional Florida records from the Gulf of Mexico as far north as Santa Rosa County (almost to the Alabama border) and ten ad- ditional records from the Atlantic coast of the state, seven from the Miami/Fort Lau- derdale area, two from Brevard County, and one from Volusia County (Bruce Anderson, pers. comm.; data published in North Ameri- can Birds). Elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, there are still few records. In addition to a pre- 1910 Rockport-area specimen now consid- ered lost (Oberholser 1974), Texas has three confrmed records of Red-footed Booby: one in the Gulf of Mexico off Galveston County 27 March 1983; one found beached at Rockport, Aransas County 2 October 2002; and one beached at Galveston, Galveston County 12 June 2008 (Arnold and Marks 2009, Lockwood and Freeman 2014). A re- port of the species by Barton German from South Padre Island, Cameron County on 26 August 1968 (Webster 1969, Duncan and Havard 1980) is categorized as Historical by the Texas Bird Records Committee; reports from Galveston, Galveston County in June 1983 and Boca Chica, Cameron County 20 March 2003 were not accepted by the Com- mittee (Mark Lockwood, pers. comm.). Louisiana likewise has three confrmed records: at the mouth of Bayou Scofeld, Plaquemines Parish 1 November 1940; in the Gulf of Mexico 191.5 km south of Trin- ity Island, Terrebonne Parish 15 July 2002; and near Holly Beach, Cameron Parish 26 April 2008; reports from Louisiana waters in May 1995 and August 1998 were not ac- cepted by that state's committee (Dittmann and Cardiff 2010, 2014). A report from Gulf Shores, Baldwin County, Alabama 12 Janu- ary 1980 (Hamilton 1980, Duncan and Ha- vard 1980) is not considered accepted by the Alabama Bird Records Committee (Greg Jackson, pers. comm.). Most of these re- cords are of immatures; the specimens with Figure 2. Ventral view of Red-footed Booby photographed during a pelagic survey of the Eastern Scotian Shelf on 22 September 2014. Note whitish belly and undertail coverts, dark underwings, pinkish bill with dusky tip, pinkish legs and feet, and dark tail with white central rectrices, all characters that indicate a white morph late in its frst plumage cycle. Photograph by Sue Abbott.

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