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Here’s a Brown Booby from Hawaii (not New York or Vermont).

THE BIG, BREAKING BIRDING NEWS in Vermont and New York is a Brown Booby at the Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point, NY.

Noted for a gangly apperance, big feet and spectacular plunge-dives, Brown Boobies occasional stray north – mostly along the US coasts.

For the state listers among you, this booby is indeed visting the Vermont side of the lake. Here’s a dynamic map of Brown Booby sightings across the continent. And here’s Ron Payne’s photo of our particular oddball visitor, which was first discovered Saturday and seen by many birders on Sunday. If it’s around today, I’ll update this post as soon as I get a report.

I chased no booby on Sunday. I went out instead for berries. Now awating a romp with your palate is one of our most spectacular summer fruits: Creeping Snowberry. You gotta eat this thing. Here’s my over-the-top (and warranted) ode to a tiny white fruit.

During a high traverse on the Worcester Range in central Vermont yesterday, Ruth and I found a bumper crop of these natural “Tic Tacs.” But don’t wait to find your own. We’ve got another week or two of snowberry season.

Our day on the trail began with with the sunrise from White Rocks (just south of Mt. Hunger), where we had spent the night watching stars.


  1. erobechek says:


    Symphoricarpos albus, also known as Snowberry, (a common upright shrub), has the following concern:

    Although eaten by birds, the berries will cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in humans if consumed. Calcium oxalate in the fruits and leaves can also cause skin rashes when touched. In humid regions and in damp soil areas lacking abundant sunlight and air flow, anthracnose, rust, powdery mildew and berry rot frequently plague the shrubs.

    White berries are most commonly toxic to humans. FYI

    • Bryan says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Yep, Symphoicarpos albus is an enitrely different beast — not creeping, a shrub, the fruits hardly retiring and diminutive as are those of Creeping Snowberry. But worth mentioning, to be sure. I’ll post more photos of our dearest snowberry.

  2. Gail M. Straw says:

    Bryan, Thanks for posting this….. It’s stunning; what a fantastic way to start the day! And the thought of spending the night under the stars last night……Aaahhh! The stars here in South Burlington (and Shelburne Farms) were gorgeous last night, with spectacular Milky Way, 7 satellites in an hour, and 5 meteors. Can’t imagine the splendors you enjoyed from your perch on high. Thanks again for sharing with us!

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