Happy News! 🎉

We have a new Masked Booby Chick!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  -Lao Tzu

Thus begins our journey towards the recovery of the Masked Booby Sula dactylatra population of Tubbataha, one chick at a time. In 2020, this couple managed to hatch an egg and rear the chick for five months.  We found the chick dead one day for no obvious reasons.

This chick was born three weeks ago. We are calling her Roxana, after our Mexican friend, Dr. Roxana Torres of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who gave us advise on what to do about the reproductive failure of this couple.  We pray this feathered Roxana will grow into full maturity and start a family of her own one day. She/he is seventh of a long line of eggs that did not hatch to see the light of day.  She will be the one to break that chain of miscarriages and failures.

Now we are sure which of these adult birds is Mama and Papa.  Masked booby 446 is Papa as identified by his dark yellow beak and high-pitched whistle.  Mama, MB 256, has a lighter yellow beak, is slightly larger, and makes a loud honking sound. (We captured their behavior through the 360fly camera donated to us by friends, Marissa Floirendo and Tet Lara, three years ago.)

We have been calling these Masked Boobies by the number on their ring band.  It is time to name them. Shall we give them Filipino names? Amihan, Diwa, Bighani, Hiyas, Caridad, Luningning, Makisig, Bayani, Alon, Kidlat, Bagwis, Buhawi? We’d like to hear from you.  Last time we asked for help naming them, we did not know male from female. Now we do. Thanks for your help!