Storm carries rare tropical seabird to Massachusetts

Sept. 28 (UPI) — Animal rescuers in Massachusetts said they are caring for a rare tropical seabird that was carried to the state by Tropical Storm Jose.

Wild Care Cape Cod posted photos to Facebook showing the masked booby that was brought to the wildlife rehabilitation hospital’s attention by Lynne Kirby, a local woman who spotted the tropical bird Tuesday at LeCount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

“The bird is very thin, weak and is experiencing respiratory discomfort likely due to a fungal infection. The bird’s condition is grave, but we are providing supportive care and keeping it comfortable at this time,” Wild Care executive director Stephanie Ellis told the Cape Cod Times.

Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Science Coordinator Mark Faherty said the masked booby is the first member of it species confirmed to have ever visited Massachusetts. He said the closest that one of the birds has ever been previously sighted was about about 100 miles south of Nantucket in 2015.

“Never has one been on Massachusetts’ soil,” he said. “This is a bird that would be hard to see in the Florida Keys.”

Wild Care said masked boobies are most commonly found along the Gulf of Mexico and it is extremely rare to spot one in North America.

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