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Nazca Booby

Sula granti


Jim Scarff
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eBird Checklist S46823287
Monterey Bay pelagic (MTY Co.)
Monterey, California, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 36.7158, -122.0628 Map



Photo by Jim Scarff

Observation details

The bird flew by the Fast Raft (RIB) at fairly high speed low to the water from behind us and kept going forward of our boat. We all three got views of the bird in flight which flew within 40 meters of our boat. Two of us got photos. Our location was 5 nm SW of Moss Landing at DMS Lat 36° 36' 14.2344'' N DMS Long 121° 53' 54.4560'' W. The water temperature was probably 57.5-58.5 F, from measurements earlier in the week but we did not measure at the time of the sighting. Sea conditions were small swell with very light winds. We contacted Alvaro Jaramillo who looked at all our photos. Alvaro wrote on FB "Well it is Nazca or Masked booby, and perhaps leans to Nazca based on the amount of white on tail, but it would be nice to know what the bill color was.” After looking at the photos again, Alvaro wrote: "The first photo may show enough of the bill (it looks pretty orange) to say it is a Nazca. It seems to me that although historically Nazca was unknown in California, currently it may be as likely or more likely to be found in CA than Masked. Note that in Galapagos currently (I just returned a few days ago), seabirds are doing very well this year, lots of juveniles and successful nesting. This "baby boom" may create an increase in Nazca in the coming years in California, particularly if we get a warm water push.” The same bird appears to have been seen and photographed two days later on June 27 in Monterey Bay by Eric Austin Yee, naturalist on the Chubasco, a Discovery Whale Watch tour out of Monterey. His three excellent photos are posted at Alvaro also reviewed Eric's photos which he agreed was clearly a Nazca.

Technical Information

Lens model
24-600mm F2.4-4.0
Focal length
8.8 mm
Shutter speed
1/1000 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
531 x 314

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