'Penguin-like' bird spotted in Brevard, South Florida

Headline Goes Here Florida Today

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Bird watchers are flocking to catch a glimpse of cold-weather birds making a rare appearance both in Brevard County and in South Florida.

Razorbills are black-and-white birds with penguin-like features. They're normally spotted in the North Atlantic, but hundreds have flown into Palm Beach County since early December.

Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports the bird has flocked to the Space Coast, specifically the Kennedy Space Center, where Audubon members spotted several during their annual Christmas Bird Count.

Marshall Iliff of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells The Palm Beach Post that razorbills have been spotted in Florida about a dozen times in the past, but usually only one at a time and never in the large flocks seen recently.

This winter, about 100 razorbills have been spotted off Miami. They've also been seen from Naples to Pensacola on Florida's Gulf Coast.

It's not clear why the birds have flown so far south. Razorbills also have been spotted in Miami Beach, the Florida Keys and Florida's Panhandle.

State wildlife officials are planning necropsies on dead razorbills that have washed ashore.

Copyright 2012 by ClickOrlando.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.