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Buffalo bird-watchers buzzing over brown booby.

Buffalo bird-watchers buzzing over brown booby

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- 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 seen this year in Connecticut.

''Its appearance here, well, there's no explanation. The probability of one here is in the millions,'' said Dominic Sherony of Fairport, 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.

The brown booby was with a group of double-crested cormorants, a common local waterbird similar in size and coloring to the booby.

''He was super-excited. At first he thought his eyes were deceiving him, but they weren't,'' Barth said of Pawlicki.

While insects are occasionally blown in on weather systems, there is no meteorological explanation for the booby's presence in Buffalo, said climatologist Jessica Spaccio at the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 11, 2013
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