Monday 7 October 2013

Brown Booby in Niagara!? Are you f****** kidding me???

This post came through to Ontbirds by Marcie Jacklin earlier today.

Hi folks

I have a voice message from Willie D'Anna. At about 1:30 this afternoon a group of watchers spotted a Brown Booby working the Buffalo, US and Fort Erie, Ontario side of the Niagara river around the Peace Bridge. Last seen headed towards Jaeger Rocks.

Directions: Follow the QEW towards Buffalo,USA. Take the Central Ave
Exit (last exit before the USA. Turn right on Central Ave, then right
onto Lakeshore Rd. Drive past the Old Fort Erie historic site on the right.
Just a little past this point on the left you will see a rocky


For those who don't know, Brown Booby is tropical seabird that in North America, is normally found only in southern Florida and occasionally in southern California. It is related to the more familiar Northern Gannet, also a rarity in Ontario but one that is nearly annual. Brown Booby has exhibited vagrancy up the coasts, and prior to this year their were only a couple Canadian records (in Nova Scotia). However both Brown Boobies and the rarer Blue-footed Booby have exploded into North America this summer, with over a hundred in California and records up the coast to British Columbia, where they experienced their first Blue-footed Booby the other day. (Photo here:

Brown Booby range map (from

As far as I am aware, this is the first Brown Booby for the Great Lakes and obviously the first for Ontario. Luckily I have understanding bosses and so tomorrow I will hopefully be in Niagara at dawn to search for the bird. I'm sure I'll see many of  my blog readers there in the morning.

Jim Pawlicki, who I believe is one of the finders of the bird, posted some photos on his Flickr page here:


The University of Tiscornia said...

At least none of us will have to read a post from Holden reporting it flying past his condo!

For what its worth this species has been on my radar since Arkansas has had a couple reported in the last year or so.

Ken Burrell said...

Hahaha! I ditto the 'condo' remarks. grrrr