Red-footed Booby

Scientific Name: Sula sula
Malay Name: Angsa-Laut Kaki Merah
Chinese Name: 红脚鲣鸟

Found from tropical and subtropical Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and wanders widely outside breeding seasons to Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia

Polytypic. Subspecies are: sula, rubripes, websteri.

Local Subspecies: rubripes

Size: 68-72.5 cm

Occurs in a variety of colour morphs but all have feet of the distinctive red color which gives them their name. Adult white morph has mostly white plumage with contrasting black flight feathers while the brown form has dark greyish brown plumage with darker flight feathers and light bluish-grey bill/facial skin. Adult of the intermediate form resembles white morph but has brown mantle, back and wing-coverts. Juvenile brown morph resembles adult but has dark grey bill and purplish facial skin. Immature white morph often shows diffuse darker breast-band and untidy whitish area on wing coverts.

Similar looking species: Brown Booby

Habitat: Open seas and sometimes coastal waters.

Behaviour/Ecology: Strong flyers that feed by diving vertically into the water. Once in the water, the birds use their webbed feet to aid swimming.

Local Status: Very rare non-breeding visitor

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Location: Only two sightings of subadult birds at Lim Chu Kang Cemetery (Feb 2011) and Straits of Singapore (May 2012).


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2018). Sula sula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.