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The big bird attraction at Half Moon Caye is the nesting colony of white-phased Red-footed Boobys and Magnificent Frigatebirds. The Belize Audubon representative said there were about 4000 boobys and 1000 frigatebirds. They do regular transects through the dense jungle to keep track of them. It seemed like a lot but I would not have guessed that many. In addition to the charismatic sea birds I also saw Great Blue Herons, Brown Pelicans, Great Egret several kinds of warblers including a good number of American Redstarts. I wanted to suggest to them that they’d best start thinking about migration. There are a few that breed near the Methow River in late May and early June.

Some of the Red-footed Booby chicks were already two months old while some nests still had eggs in them. I did not see any frigatebird chicks and many of the males were in full display with their red air sacks inflated for everyone to see. They looked like awkward fragile balloons and I wonder if they ever poke them on a branch or get attacked by other birds. The boobys may lay two eggs but generally only raise one youngster to maturity. That means the weaker one may fall or get pushed from the nest. Sometimes a tourist will bring one of these unfortunate birds to the Audubon staff and they will attempt to feed and raise them and teach them to fish on their own. It’s often a futile attempt.

One Comment

  1. Wow wow wow.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

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