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What the Heck is a Brown Booby and Why is One in Indiana?

A rare brown booby was spotted in Southern Indiana, and it turns out this is a pretty big deal.

To be totally honest, I have never even heard of a brown booby before today.  Besides having a giggle-inducing name, what exactly is a brown booby? yes, it’s a bird, but what kind of bird? Why is it a big deal that it’s in Indiana?  Well, we’re going to dive into all of that.

For starters, a brown booby is a seabird.  It’s known for it’s brown and white markings. All About Birds says that it is rare, but there have been brown boobies spotted as far north as Canada, but they’re typically found in tropical locations.

Found in tropical oceans around the world, the Brown Booby is a dashing seabird—both in plumage, a natty brown-and-white (with bright yellow feet) and in flight style, which involves swift aerial maneuvers and deft dives. Brown Boobies do not nest on the United States mainland but often visit waters off Florida or California.

Photo by Karl Callwood on Unsplash

Photo by Karl Callwood on Unsplash

Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell Indiana has been quite popular over the last few days as folks have flocked to the state park to get a glimpse of the brown booby.  This is a big deal because according to Spring Mill State Park, this is only the second time a brown booby has ever been spotted in the Hoosier state.

Spring Mill State Park even posted a video with several photographers all trying to get the perfect shot of our unique visitor.

Spring Mill State Park took to Facebook on Sunday June 9th, to ask that if you make a trip to the park to view the bird, that you please give it space and allow it to rest and feed so it can eventually find it’s way back home.

Have you seen the rare Brown Booby at Spring Mill State Park? This Juvenile bird is only the second of his species seen in the state of Indiana! As of tonight the bird remains near the Lakeview Activity Center.

These birds are usually found in tropical regions and are rarely seen in the continental United States. Hunters of oceanic fish and squid, the juvenile bird at Spring Mill has been seen diving into the lake to catch bluegill.

Remember, if you see this special bird, give it plenty of space to rest and feed, so it can stay healthy and eventually find its way back to its home in the ocean!

Have photos of the bird you’d like to share? Email us at: nlahue@dnr.in.gov

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