On the afternoon of 31 March 2016 Heritage Expeditions Guide Chris Collins was leading a zodiac cruise around some of the islets off the north-east corner of Raoul Island in the Kermadec group, when he found a sub-adult Red-footed Booby. The bird was soaring high over Napier Island and whilst the views weren’t great, Chris was able to get some photos which clearly showed the diagnostic features of this tropical seabird which has seemingly not been previously identified in New Zealand waters.
With some of the New Zealand’s keenest birders on the expedition (but not on the zodiac cruise), Expedition Leader Rodney Russ decided to return to Napier Island late that afternoon and the booby was found sitting in a tree on the top of the island, resulting in some very happy passengers !!!
Two days later, there was another zodiac cruise to Napier Island and much to everyone’s astonishment, two Red-footed Boobies were found in the same tree.