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.
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 2021)
Past accepted records in our database:
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
BirdLife International. (2021). Sula sula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22696694A168988714.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.