NEWPORT—A tropical masked booby (Sula dactylatra), that was picked up in Newport is now settling into a warmer locale. The juvenile bird is the second of its species ever reported north of Mendocino County, California.
The booby was underweight, weighing 1,405 grams, when it arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium for rehabilitation on September 11.
Due to the continued threat of avian influenza, Aquarium staff followed isolation quarantine procedures, which required any person that worked with the booby to avoid Aquarium’s resident birds that day. State veterinarians worked quickly to obtain the necessary samples for testing, and when blood test results for the disease came back negative, they transitioned to regular quarantine protocols that provided the bird its own private condominium.
Despite the logistical challenges, the Aquarium’s aviculturists tended their surprise patient with enthusiasm.
“Working with a booby was a new experience for our staff, and we quickly learned they are a favorite of many staff who asked about its progress every day,” said CJ McCarty, Curator of Birds for the Aquarium.
Aviculturists introduced nutrition to the booby gradually, starting with fluids, then a fishy shake and finally whole fish to ensure the bird was adequately hydrated to successfully digest food.