Booby arrives in Niagara

By Alison Langley, Niagara Falls Review

Bird watchers from across Ontario flocked to Fort Erie on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of a seabird that's far from home.

A brown booby, a bird that is usually found in tropical waters, spent the day hanging out with cormorants along the Niagara River between Fort Erie and Buffalo, N.Y.

Ron RIdout, a Bird Studies Canada technical support and design specialist, said this is the first recording sighting of a brown booby in Ontario.

"This is big news in the birding circles of Ontario," the Long Point resident said.

News of the rare sighting traveled quickly through social media and by early Tuesday a group of dedicated bird-watchers had lined the river behind the Old Fort.

"I left at 4 a.m. this morning," said London, Ont. resident Ian Platt.

Barb Charlton, of Hamilton, said she thrilled to be a part of the action.

"It was first spotted by an American and word quickly spread," she said.

The large brown bird with a white belly and white beak was oblivious to all the attention as it perched on a break wall in Buffalo.

The brown booby is typically found in the tropical areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and are common in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. They have been found as far north as New England and Nova Scotia.

According to National Geographic, the booby species are thought to take their name from the Spanish word "bobo" which means "stupid."

Early European colonists referred to the birds as "bobos" because they were clumsy on land and had no fear of humans.



Do you plan on heading to Fort Erie to find the bird?

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