By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A funny name and a rare sight in Maryland. A pair of brown boobies were hanging out at the Inner Harbor.

Alex DeMetrick reports the sea birds are a long way from their home in the tropics.

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Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has a new sight but it takes a water taxi to get close. Perched on a mooring line between two Navy reserve ships are two brown boobies. Tropical sea birds, they are an unusual sight so far north.

“Very unusual. There is only one prior record of a brown booby in the state of Maryland so this will be the second ever,” said DNR Assistant Secretary Mark Hoffman.

Hoffman is also the leader of Maryland’s Ornithological Society.

“They’re fish eaters, plunge divers, so they’re catching fish out in the harbor,” Hoffman said.

It’s also brought bird watchers flocking to the harbor’s water taxis.

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“I’ve seen other boobies in the Galapagos, but to see them close to home, that’s exciting,” said bird watcher Jenny Mark.

Between the engine’s vibration and the movement of water, getting steady video is a challenge. Our media partner, the Baltimore Sun, posted stills of the birds. To see them with this detail normally means a trip to the Caribbean, where they nest and raise their young.

In Baltimore, they’ve become the center of attention.

“It was worth the $14, worth the traffic, worth everything,” Mark said.

It’s expected the birds will move on with cooler weather.

“There’s an old saying in the birding community: birds have wings and they use them,” Hoffman said.

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It’s believed the birds got their funny name when early sailors caught them for food. Not used to people, they were easy to catch, which gave the birds a less than brilliant reputation.