Sailing away with Nikk and Jan

So far three birds have rested on Balance, and the latest was the most surprising. On November 21, as we were crossing from Cabo San Lucas to the Bay of Banderas on the Mexican mainland, a booby joined us, and perched on the bow pulpit, where it proceeded to groom itself for four hours while clutching the rail with its webbed feet. Since I’ve only seen Brown and Blue-footed Boobies before, I was extremely puzzled, and kept checking the bird books on board. Finally, it moved a little, and I was able to see red streaks on its feet. A Red-footed Booby! Probably a juvenile, which I thought was appropriate, since it was grooming itself for so long. It was pulling out it’s chest feathers, so I think it was molting. In the Petersen’s Mexican Birds, I read that these boobies are spread out on tropical waters, and breed on islands. Isla Isabella, which we hope to visit in January, is a protected island where many birds breed, located north of our location, and perhaps this booby was born there. If the interent connection permits, I’ll attach a picture. If it doesn’t work, then the readers can consult the internet for a picture. These kinds of sightings and visits are one of the joys of sailing. The booby left right at sunset, since they are night feeders, and we bid him goodbye with wishes for good luck snapping up fish and squid.

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