Rare bird alert: Tropical Storm Alex brings tropical bird to NC coast

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— We may be able to thank the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season for carrying a rare sea bird to the North Carolina coast.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore posted a photo of the striking white and black seabird on Facebook, saying it is an “unusual visitor” normally found in the tropical open ocean.

The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) was spotted Tuesday on Ocracoke Island. Officials believe the effects of Tropical Storm Alex brought it here.

In the photo, captured by biologist B. Ranelli, the large bird is hovering above the water.