Cape Cod's beaches have become famous lately for shark and whale sightings. Now a rare bird, hardly ever seen in Massachusetts, has popped up in Brewster.

Mark Faherty, Science Coordinator at Massachusetts Audubon Cape Cod and who writes and delivers "The Weekly Bird Report" for Cape and Islands NPR affiliate WCAI and the station's website, said he spotted a Vermilion Flycatcher, extremely rare in Massachusetts, last Friday.

"It was a real doozy," Faherty said. "This one ticked all the boxes for a crowd-pleasing find. It's good looking, it's easy to find and see, almost criminally easy to photograph, and no one has ever seen one on the Cape and Islands before."

Extremely Rare Bird Spotted In Massachusetts On Cape Cod
Photo Courtesy of Mark Faherty

Faherty said he was bird-watching in a marsh when he discovered the Vermilion Flycatcher "close to where I saw a different flycatcher last week."

"I quickly realized what I was looking at, improbable though it was," he said.

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Faherty said he wasted little time in "getting a few photos for proof" of his discovery.

"I broke into a sprint, heart pounding from a combination of adrenaline and poor cardiovascular fitness," he said.

Extremely Rare Bird Spotted In Massachusetts On Cape Cod
Suzanne Lewis O'Shea/Used With Permission

Faherty said the flycatcher "was a young male sporting most of the red plumage of an adult, though more orangy and less intense." He called the find "stunning."

"This species has only been recorded in Massachusetts three times," he said, between 1954 and 2017 and may have come from Texas, Arizona, or even from as far away as Venezuela.

Extremely Rare Bird Spotted In Massachusetts On Cape Cod
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Faherty's report about his discovery on contains an audio byte of him describing the rare bird.

Sharks, whales, and now rare birds, I can hardly wait to see what – or who – shows up next on the Cape. Has anyone seen Elvis recently? Or Bigfoot?

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