Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Red-footed Booby - Sula sula
SULIDAE Members:
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General Comments This Tropical waterbird, found in the warmer portions of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, had been expected on the state's bird list for several decades, ever since numerous pelagic trips had been taken off our coast starting in the 1980's. The first state record was one seen and photographed "from a cruise ship nearly 200 miles at sea, assigned to Carteret County by closest point of land", on 8 Jun 2019* [Chat 85:139 link]. Acceptance of photographs by the NC BRC places the species directly onto the Definitive List. One of the most remarkable sightings ever in the state was the finding of a dark-morph bird sitting on a boardwalk railing over Yates Mill Pond (Wake) on the surprisingly early date of 3 Mar 2023 [Chat 87:57)! link] Many dozens of people saw and photographed the bird, and photos are on the Carolina Bird Club Photo Gallery. This may be the farthest inland record anywhere for this strictly ocean-going species. The record has not yet been reviewed by the NC BRC.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain One record (see above).
Piedmont One record (see above).
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
Attribution LeGrand[2023-08-10], LeGrand[2023-03-15], LeGrand[2021-11-07]