Red-footed Booby photographed at Lim Chu Kang

on 5th November 2013

Chan Yoke Meng and Melinda Chan belatedly submitted these two images of the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) that they photographed on 9th February 2011 at the former Muslim Cemetery in Lim Chu Kang.

The orangey legs and yellowish bill tipped black point to an immature or a juvenile Red-footed Booby. This species is highly polymorphic, with white, brown and intermediates morphs that exist irrespective of subspecies.

According to Carboneras (1992), the Red-footed Booby is pantropical in distribution, probably dispersing mainly over tropical oceans. And “…juveniles undertake the wide-ranging movements, sometimes hundreds of kilometres from nearest land”

Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai has this to say: “This looks like a Red-footed Booby. There are a couple of records from Peninsula Malaysia’s east coast, as well as a 1984 record from the Riau Archipelago. Last year, a bird group pelagic recorded an immature off Changi and claimed it as the first record for Singapore.” This was by Francis Yap who reported seeing this species on 13th May 2012 LINK.

However, the images of the Red-footed Booby posted in this website were photographed 15 months earlier, making this the first recorded sighting for Singapore.

Added Subaraj, “As far as I know, I do not think that the bird park has this species but this needs to be confirmed.”

Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Subaraj Rajathurai
October 2013

Carboneras, C., 1992. Family Sulidae (Gannets and Boobies). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 313-325.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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