JUNE 22, 2016 7:14 AM
Tropical bird almost never makes an NC appearance
It’s one of the most unusual species to ever occur in our area
By Taylor Piephoff
I have written about rarities that are attracted to large inland reservoirs, but I never thought I would be writing about this one: A brown booby has appeared at Lookout Shoals Lake on the Catawba County/Iredell County line, specifically at the Sharon Boat Access area.
I have seen the species only twice in North Carolina, both times at the coast. The species is considered a true rarity anywhere in the state, even along the coast or offshore.
Boobies are a family of large, mostly tropical, heavy-bodied plunge-divers. One northern species, the Northern gannet, is a familiar winter sight from our coastal beaches. The other species are found over tropical open oceans where they dive head-first for fish in the warm waters or along the warm Gulf Stream as it flows north. Occasionally an individual of one of several species will show up on a Southeastern beach, jetty or buoy marker.