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Australian Wildlife

  White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)





White-tailed Tropicbird | Phaethon lepturus photo
White-tailed Tropicbird in flight

Image by Dunog - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



BIRD FACTS

Description
Tropicbirds look like large terns with strong down-curved bills. They have short legs set far back - this makes them shuffle on their belly when on land. The White-tailed Tropicbird is white with long flexible tail streamers (the central two feathers). It has a black comma-shaped eyebrow and the lower half of the wings are black. Immatures are mottled and barred black with cream bill.

Other Names
Bosunbird

Size
63cm - 81cm including 40cm tail

Habitat
oceans, oceanic islands and coasts

Food
dives like a Gannet for fish and squid

Breeding
Breeds in tropical pacific, but not Australia

Range
occasional visitor to coast of north Queensland

distribution map showing range of Phaethon lepturus in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License




Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Phaethontidae
Genus:Phaethon
Species:lepturus
Common Name:White-tailed Tropicbird

Relatives in same Genus
  Red-tailed Tropicbird (P. rubricauda)