Red-footed booby seen in Zamboanga del Sur town

OFFICIALS of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are looking into the possibility that red-footed boobies (Sula-sula) exist in the wilds of Zamboanga del Sur.

This, as the wildlife personnel of the Guipos Community Environment and Natural Resources Office recently sighted a red-footed booby at the fish port of Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur.

According to Wikipedia, the red-footed booby is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. Adults always have red feet but the color of the plumage varies.

Wildlife Unit Chief Precil Antipuesto said they spotted the bird, which weighs around 1.3 kilograms, perching on a building at the fish port while they were on their way to Panikian Island in the Municipality of Pitogo

The National Geographic describes the red-footed boobies as strong flyers and can travel up to 93 miles in search of food.

They often hunt in large groups and are nimble enough to snare flying fish from the air. Boobies are well adapted for diving and feature long bills, lean and aerodynamic bodies, closeable nostrils and long wings which they wrap around their bodies before entering the water.

The red-footed boobies use these attributes to plunge-dive and capture fish that they spot from above with their sharp eyes.

At night, they may dive for schooling squids that are visible because of their phosphorescence. Once in the water, the birds use their webbed feet to aid swimming.

The red-footed boobies are found widely in the tropics and breed colonially in coastal regions, especially islands.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the red-footed booby as a species of least concern, though the population worldwide is decreasing. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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