Rare tropical brown booby seabird rescued on Vancouver Island

Wild ARC says creature likely blown off course as a result of recent storms

The Pacific Northwest is home to some incredible scenery and unique species, but when a Brown Booby seabird was spotted at Ogden Point, it was a rarity.

Victoria resident June Elaine Pigeon came across the creature, more native to tropical climates, while out walking Jan. 29. Pigeon called the SPCA. The bird was taken to the Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital where it was stabilized before being transferred to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin where it is stable, but still suffering from wounds on its feet and breast.

“The first 72 hours are critical,” said Marguerite Sans, senior wildlife rehabilitator at Wild ARC. She described the bird as emaciated, a factor most likely contributing to her injuries.

“To me that suggests if she was off course and not finding a good place to find fish then she started doing poorly,” she explained.

The team at Wild ARC suspect the bird is female, based on the colour of her beak and her face. Typically males will have more blue around the eyes, whereas hers is more of a grey colour.

Sans said caring for her has been a gradual process because her body has already begun to shut down and cannot process food.

“The care of seabirds is very specific and they require quite specific care because they’re usually found out on water and because of those adaptations we have to be careful with their feather quality and their feet,” Sans said.

Brown Boobies rely on wind and air currents to travel, so Sans thinks it’s possible the recent windstorms have blown the bird off its migration patterns.

Still, it’s rare to see them in this area, some 3,000 km from their breeding sites in the Gulf of Mexico and the islands around Central America, where they are widespread.

“There is so little research and their colonies are sensitive on small islands so there is suspicion their population is declining,” she added.

Sans reminds people that if they come across an injured animal, it’s important to keep a distance, particularly with dogs or other pets. Moving the animal is not recommended either, in order to prevent further injury or stress.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

Revelstoke construction company applies for gravel pit for second time

Terus Construction wants to expand their current operation on Westside Rd.

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Hergott: Medical cannabis and ICBC

ICBC might start reimbursing the expense of cannabis just like they do for prescription medications

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

PET OF THE WEEK: Kahlua needs a forever home

Cat lives at Critteraid animal sanctuary in Summerland

Bridgeman wins in Summerland low net competition

Summerland golfers compete in regular league play

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read