A Brown Booby was found this morning by New York birder, Gary Chapin. He first spotted it from the Vermont side of the lake perched on some rocks on the NY side, and not sure what it was, decided to cross over the bridge to Crown Point Historic Site to get a closer look where he confirmed it’s ID. At one point he watched as it flew to the Vermont side of the lake to catch a fish, making this the first ever record of the species in Vermont. Like the Brown Pelican that was found on Lake Dunmore earlier this year, the Brown Booby is a coastal species that rarely ventures north of Virginia during the non-breeding season, but which is much less likely to ever be found inland. 

Gary sent a message out to both the Vermont and Northern New York bird email listservs which brought in groups of birders from both sides of the lake to view the bird. And very cooperative it was, for the most part staying perched on rocks with a flock of gulls thirty or so feet away from a good vantage point in Fort Saint-Frederic, the old French fort that preceded the British fortification on Crown Point. While I was there the most entertaining moment was watching it fly out a short way into the lake to catch a Yellow Perch. It spent the next five minutes trying to down the fish, which turned out to be  too big for it to swallow, and after it came under the attention of some aggressive gulls, it gave up on the meal and flew back to the rocks. 

There is no telling how long this bird might stick around, so definitely take advantage of the chance to see this rare visitor as soon as possible if you can.

– Ron Payne

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