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Tropical bird found on Cape Cod beach dies

The masked booby, a tropical bird that was rescued from a Cape Cod beach after it was likely blown off course by Hurricane Jose, has died. (Photo courtesy of Wild Care Cape Cod)

The masked booby, a tropical bird that was rescued from a Cape Cod beach after it was likely blown off course by Hurricane Jose, has died.

“It is with a heavy heart that we report that the booby expired overnight. The bird took a turn for the worst yesterday, and was placed on oxygen for much of the day,” Wild Care Cape Cod Executive Director Stephanie Ellis noted on the organization’s Facebook page Monday afternoon. “We certainly tried our best, and his condition was grim from the beginning.”

The wildlife rehabilitation facility in Eastham previously stated that the bird was found Sept. 26 at a Wellfleet beach. They said it was thin, weak and experiencing respiratory discomfort likely due to a fungal infection.

“The bird will be necropsied by Tufts University and then transported to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology for exhibit,” according to Ellis, who also expressed gratitude to experts for their help in caring for the bird. “I'd like to thank my staff for working tirelessly to pull this bird through. Last but not least, thank YOU all for your incredible outpouring of support and generosity. It has helped enormously through this challenging time.”

Massachusetts Audubon science coordinator Mark Faherty said a masked booby had never before been reported on the state's soil. However, he said a charter captain reported seeing one about 100 miles south of Nantucket in 2015, also adding that the seabirds are more common in the Gulf of Mexico.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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