Brown Booby Photos by Tom Whitney

From Joan Collins, Adirondack Avian Expeditions.

“On Saturday, August 25, 2018, Long Lake Camp Owner, Tom Whitney photographed a juvenile Brown Booby on the mast of his sailboat on Long Lake.

This is a mega-rare bird for Long Lake and there is huge interest from birders around the state.  He found it south of the Big Brook inlet.  On Monday, August 27th, Joan Collins saw the Brown Booby between Big Brook and Round Island also on Long Lake and it flew up, circled around, and flew to the east side of the lake and along the tree-line and disappeared from view.

Following up the Saturday, August 25th sighting, Birders Joan Collins and Larry Master, ventured out by boat on Tuesday morning, August 28th from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to explore the northern end of Long Lake. This area of the lake has limited road access so a boat was necessary to reach the northern most location on the lake.   Unfortunately there was no repeat Brown Booby sighting at that time.

This Juvenile Brown Booby will spend time perched on channel markers or other perches it finds suitable (like a sailboat mast) and it will also simply float on the water. 

The juvenile Brown Booby is dark with a distinctive dark border on its breast and yellowish feet.  It also looks a bit like a Northern Gannett if that is a familiar bird to some.

From Joan: “I wanted to get the word out to people around the lake since 14 miles is a large area to look for one bird!  It may still be around, or it may have moved on.  This Brown Booby is way outside of its normal territory (Florida and the Caribbean).  If you spot it, please try to get a photo (or video) – and please email and let her know right away!  Thank you!”

Fun sighting:  Five days before Tom’s sighting in Long Lake, a juvenile Brown Booby was being observed in western Massachusetts, and birders think the bird on Long Lake may be the same individual.



Brown Booby Facts:
Juvenile is brown overall; belly ranges from mottled brown and white to mostly dark. Sharp line still visible between darker chest and lighter belly. Underwing coverts are pale. Bare parts generally dull gray.

A widespread seabird of tropical waters, the Brown Booby ranges as far north as the Gulf of California, and rarely to both coasts of the United States. Like other boobies, it feeds with spectacular plunges into the sea.