I finally made the journey up to see the bird yesterday. By then, the initial madness had worn off, and while dozens of people visited during my time, it wasn't the heavier crowds of days prior. The young booby seems quite at home here, and I figured it would linger. It's still present today.
Non-birder: "So, what are you all looking at?"
Birder: "A Brown Booby"
The funny name arises from the Spanish bobo, which means "dunce". Sailors became very familiar with these birds early on, and thought them stupid due to their extraordinary tameness. Seabirds that nest on isolated islands and have little to no human contact often show little fear of people. But the misinterpretation of their intellect did give us the comical name. For more interesting information about boobies, and the sources and meanings of North American bird names, get a copy of Gary Meiter's book Bird is the Word. Go HERE to read more about this book, and HERE to get a copy.
Brown Boobies are an oceanic species, very rarely venturing inland and onto fresh water, especially this far north. That said, there is an Indiana record and several records from the eastern end of Lake Erie, so it's not altogether unexpected for this species to appear in Ohio.
Hurricane Laura, which formed and rapidly grew in intensity a few days prior to the bird's appearance here. Saltwater birds often don't fare well in the long term in freshwater habitats. With luck, the Brown Booby will make its way back south and onto the ocean. But whether it has any innate instinct as to where it should be remains unknown.
One thing is for certain. Many people will be keeping an eye on the bird, and it will be interesting to see how this booby situation plays out.