Posted: Nov 08, 2017 06:10 PM PST
Updated: Nov 08, 2017 06:10 PM PST
VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - A rare species of seabird known as the Brown Booby has been discovered nesting on the Channel Islands off the coast of Ventura County for the first time.
This discovery signifies a significant northward expansion of the Brown Booby's breeding range, which was previously believed to be confined to tropical or subtropical areas.
Biologists discovered four nests and 102 individual birds on Sutil Island off the southwest end of Santa Barbara Island during a survey on Nov. 3, 2017, according to a news release by Channel Islands National Park.
Adult birds appeared to be either incubating eggs or tending to young in the nests, according to the news release.
"This discovery, once again, demonstrates the importance of the Channel Islands as critical seabird habitat," said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. "This makes for a total of 14 species of breeding seabirds, birds that rely upon the rich marine resources and the isolation of these offshore islands to provide food and undisturbed nesting grounds safe from predators."