Bird 69 – Abbott’s Booby

Ah Bird of the Week 69, it’s a number we were always going to get to. And I know what a lot of you are thinking right now, and I just want to say, you’re all filthy. This is an innocent email service about birds, pigeons, plumage and murder. So I’m going to give you the least sexiest thing the bird world has to offer.

And to do so I need a little help from a former Bird of the Week guest star. Your friend and mine, Tony Abbott, so that I can introduce you to Abbott’s Booby.

Abbott’s Booby is traditionally found on the upper right hand side of Tony Abbott’s chest. It is rumoured there is another that lives on the left hand side, but no firm evidence has yet come to light that it exists, which is a shame because without the left wing he has been rendered completely flightless.

A place long associated with Abbott and his various right wing boob policies is Christmas Island. But there’s another Booby besides Abbott’s Booby that’s associated with Christmas Island, and that’s Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti).

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Boobys belong to the order Suliformes, along with Gannets, and they’re a seagoing bird. They were actually named for the American naturalist, William Louis Abbott, who was the first person to collect a specimen. Abbott actually has three other birds named after him too, so who knows, you may be seeing his name again.

Abbott’s Booby, though, is the rarest Booby on earth, as it only lives on Christmas Island. There’s only about 3,000 of the little guys left, and the future doesn’t look too bright for them.

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So graceful.

People are worried that the yellow crazy ant that got onto the island a few years back could pose a threat, so efforts are being made to try to knock out the ants. And then of course there’s that old chestnut, climate change… Really, I don’t feel like Abbott has done a lot to help out his namesake bird.  

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Hang in there, little future Boobys, I know you can make it.


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