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
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.
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