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Buffalo bird-watchers buzzing over brown booby

October 10, 2013

BUFFALO, New York (AP) — Bird-watchers in Buffalo are buzzing over the sighting of a brown booby.

Birders flocked to the city’s Lake Erie and Niagara River waterfronts this week to get a glimpse of the gull-like tropical diving bird normally found along the coasts of Central America.

It is the first time a brown booby has been sighted in the region.

It’s unusual to spot one anywhere in the United States, except in Florida and Southern California, experts said. One of the birds was sighted this year in Connecticut.

“Its appearance here, well, there’s no explanation. The probability of one here is in the millions,” said Dominic Sherony, who is among dozens of people from around western New York and Ontario who have arrived in Buffalo with binoculars and cameras.

“It’s not a bird kept in zoos or aviaries,” Sherony told The Buffalo News, discounting the idea it may have escaped from somewhere. “This is really mysterious.”

The bird was first reported Monday and was seen again Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. It initially was spotted by bird watchers Sue Barth and Jim Pawlicki, who had braved a rainy Monday in search of another bird, a jaeger, which only comes out in bad weather.

Bird watchers are concerned that the bird, alone and far from its much warmer usual habitat, might not be able to find enough to eat in Buffalo. They are hopeful it will join the cormorants when they migrate south for winter.

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Information from: The Buffalo News, http://www.buffalonews.com

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