Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) sighted far north of its usual tropical habitat.
Observation by Karen Johnson:
Brown Booby observed outside it's normal range. The bird showed up on my brother, Moses Johnsons' fishing vessel while he was out winter king trolling off of Sitka. The Booby stayed with him and perched on one of his trolling poles. When it was time for him to come back to town for the night the Booby refused to leave even after he raised his trolling poles. I met my brother at the harbor and called M. Goff who ID'd the bird which was still perched on the tip of a trolling pole. It was dark (7pm) when Moe arrived at the harbor so I didn't get a good photo but with his permission I am submitting one of his he took while out on the grounds.
11/19/2018 My brother Moe saw the Brown Booby on November 8th and again on November 14th near Vistkari. It was feeding with Northern Fulmars and others. He said at that time the feed had come up closer to the surface. He said the bird flew around a bit but never landed. It spent the night in town on his trolling pole. Strangest thing to see them head out fishing the next morning like this at 6am.
Comments from LEO Editors:
This observation has been forwarded to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Invasive Species Program.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Brown Booby Species Profile the Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is a tropical seabird normally found in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, as well as the Pacific ocean near Mexico. The northern most point of its usual range is the Gulf of California. According to an E-Bird observation map, there have been several sightings of the Brown Booby in Alaska between 2013 and 2018. Primary food sources for the Brown Booby are fish and squid. LEO recently received an observation about an increase in the number of squid seen around the lower Kenai Peninsula.