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The Rare Red-Footed Booby


Reynier Cascante, Expedition Guide, Safari Voyager

The beauty of a creature can be found in its rarity.

For a Costa Rican tour guide that grew up in the forest surrounded by animals every day, it takes a lot to get me excited about a creature. So when I do, it’s because I’ve seen something very unique.

When I started this season with UnCruise Adventures, all I wanted was to grow professionally. Yet, I found myself smiling like a child when seeing a new species of bird for the first time.

On the third day of our journey aboard the Safari Voyager this week, I woke up early to exercise. Looking up at the sky and seeing the sun rising through the clouds as I went about my workout, I felt that something great was coming. With little idea of what was ahead of us, I started getting ready.

Sunrise in Panama

My morning activity was a skiff tour around a small island called Pacheca at the Archipelago Las Perlas in Panama. We had all we needed for a successful tour; 12 happy people, good equipment and our amazing skiff driver, Chris Barron who helps spot amazing wildlife.

Skiff Tour From The Safari Voyager

Within the first 20 minutes of the tour we got to see the Magnificent Frigates, Brown Pelicans, American Oyster catchers and more. However, the best part of the tour was yet to come.

Back at the island near a big cliff, I spotted a particular bird flying above us. At first, I couldn't identify it and I was hesitant to call it out.

Red Footed Booby Flying

However, when I finally got a better look, I realized that it was definitely a booby but one that I have never seen before. This one had red feet. I took out my field guide and I paid attention to the small details. It was the first time I was seeing this beautiful bird with its brown feathers, blue bill and undeniably red feet.

Red Footed Boobie

We all watched in awe as it soared above us.

The biggest surprise came after we returned to the ship and I discovered its distribution range. The only place in the Pacific where you can see this bird is exactly where we were and you can only see it during migration season.

That's when I fully understood how lucky we were to see this magnificent creature.

Red Footed Boobie

Later that night, I went to bed with a big smile on my face, eagerly waiting for tomorrow’s adventure.

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