The Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Phaethon rubricauda, is a seabird that nests across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the rarest of the tropicbirds, yet is still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened. It nests in colonies on oceanic islands
The Red-tailed Tropicbird looks like a stout tern, and hence closely resembles the other two tropicbird species. It has generally white plumage, often with a pink tinge, a black crescent around the eye and a thin red tail feather. It has a bright red bill and black feet.
Behaviour and Range
Red-tailed Tropicbirds nest on oceanic islands in large colonies from the Hawaiian Islands to Easter Island and across to Mauritius.
Breeding / Nesting
When breeding they mainly choose coral atolls with low shrubs, nesting underneath them or occasionally in limestone cavities.
Diet / Feeding
They feed offshore away from land, singly rather than in flocks. They are plunge-divers that feed on fish, mostly flying fish and squid.
- BirdLife International (2004). . 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern