Changes to the British List (16 August 17)
16 August 2017
Red-footed Booby Sula sula
Female, second-calendar-year or older, St Leonard’s, East Sussex, 4 September 2016, held in care to 16 December 2016, when transported to the Cayman Islands, where died in quarantine before release (photographed and specimen).
Red-footed Booby, East Sussex, December 2016 © East Sussex WRAS
The bird was observed flying and landing on water, before moving to a beach, where it was rescued by the RSPCA. Although rehabilitated, it did not survive transfer to islands in its natural range. There are no issues with provenance as the species is not held in captivity, with instead increasing numbers of extralimital records in the North Atlantic and elsewhere. Therefore this first British record accords with an emerging pattern of vagrancy for the species.
Breeds on islands throughout tropical regions, with birds dispersing to oceanic waters.
It should be placed after Gannet Morus bassanus on the British List.
Further details of this decision will be published as part of the BOURC’s 48th report expected to be published in Ibis in January 2018. Upon publication of these decisions, the British List stands at 609 species (Category A = 591; Category B = 8; Category C = 10).