Brown Booby
© Dick Coombes-BirdWatch Ireland
Brown Booby
Birders are continuing to flock to Greystones in Co Wicklow after what is believed to be the first ever sighting of a Brown Booby in Ireland.

The large seabird is usually found fishing in tropical waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

It was spotted yesterday afternoon in Greystones and has delighted birders by loitering at the beach today.

Niall Hatch from BirdWatch Ireland said: "It's a species that's supposed to be in the tropical Atlantic, where it's found in the West Indies and the Cape Verde islands.


"To see one in Europe is really unusual. This is the first time the species has been seen in Ireland in a way that people can go and look at it. There's a record from 2016 on a boat offshore from the Skellig islands but no one got to see it.

"It makes us feel connected to the world as well. This bird has travelled a very long distance to get to us here in Ireland."

Mr Hatch told RTÉ's News at One that there has been an increasing number of the Brown Booby seen in southern England and European waters in recent times.


The Brown Booby seen in Greystones will be "left to its own devices" Mr Hatch said, unless it is injured, which so far it does not seem to be, he added. He said there is no way of knowing how long it will stay in Ireland.

Mr Hatch said that the Brown Booby gets its name from its temperament.

He explained that the booby bird is "incredibly tame" and has "no fear of predators" and is an "easy target".

Sailors used to see this bird as easy prey Mr Hatch said and it took on the name "booby" because the term is one historically used to describe a foolish person.

The bird slept on high rocks last night, Mr Hatch said, which is relatively safe from predators.