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Rare Brown Booby spotted at Indiana state park

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jun 06, 2024

MITCHELL — An interpretive naturalist caught a very rare sighting on Monday when visiting Spring Mill State Park last Monday.

Wade LaHue spotted a Brown Booby diving into the lake at Spring Mill State Park. The bird was reportedly diving for fish to eat.

Assistant state ornithologist Amy Kearns confirmed the sighting, saying it is actually a juvenile bird.

“This species is not normally found in the United States, let alone Indiana,” Kearns said, noting that the bird had wandered naturally out of its normal range.

According to the Indiana DNR, this is only the second time the species has ever been seen in the state. The first on record was on a private lake in Zionsville in May 2019. That bird stayed for less than a day.

Park staff ask that guests give the Brown Booby plenty of space if they come visit, so it can stay healthy and eventually find its way back to its home in the ocean.

“It could leave at any time,” Kearns said.