Brown Booby in Ohio

Yers, that’s right! The last week of August into the first week of September, a local Ohio community served as a temporary home to a Brown Booby. Why is this special? Because the Brown Booby is typically found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. So this immature Brown Booby was several hundreds of miles away from its typical range. Speculation is that a storm, perhaps a hurricane, carried it up to us in Ohio.

The Brown Booby above landed in my backyard, at the Nimisila Reservoir in Akron, Summit County, Ohio. It was first discovered some time around August 23rd, and was observed up to about September 3rd. Hundreds of people make the trek to Nimisila to observe the reservoir’s most famous visitor, the first sighting of this species in the State.

Sadly, nature took its course with the Brown Booby. One morning, a birder was visiting to view it and check up on it, but found no bird; instead, he discovered a single wing, floating in the waters just below the Booby’s favorite tree perch. The Booby apparently became a meal for a predator. Initial speculation was an immature Peregrine Falcon that had been harassing it earlier in the week, but that was unlikely due to the size of the Booby and the wing being left behind. Some think it was a Great Horned Owl who grabbed it in the night; owls have been known to take apart their prey. In any case, no matter who got to the Brown Booby, many were sadden by this news, including myself, as I had only just visited with it on the 1st of September. He was such a special visitor for us in a year full of disappointment. Long live the Brown Booby of Ohio, he was loved, and will be missed!

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