Seabird Colony

red footed booby
male frigatebird  

We were not entirely focused on fish and other reef creatures. We also visited a seabird colony on Half Moon Key.

Above is a nesting Red Footed Booby, Sula sula. Nests are built in the tops of small trees (here a Ziricote tree) in the scrub forest that is the native growth on these keys. Unfortunately these forests are usually cut down when humans "develop" keys and this has greatly reduced the availability of nesting sites for the boobies and other seabirds. Note the lizard accidently included in the lower left corner.

To the left is a male Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregata magnificens. The red throat sack, which takes up to a quarter of an hour for the male to inflate, is said to be a turn-on to lady Magnificent Frigatebirds.

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