Red-billed Tropicbird

Phaethon aethereus

Order

PELECANIFORMES

Family

Tropicbirds (Phaethontidae)

Code 4

RBTR

Code 6

PHAAET

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Red-billed Tropicbird has a large range, estimated globally at 50,000 to 100,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, Europe, and Asia, this bird prefers neritic, oceanic, and coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 7,500 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Red-billed Tropicbird is Least Concern.

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PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-billed Tropicbird: Slender, white, gull-like seabird with long white tail streamers. White back, finely barred black. Black eye stripe curves upward behind eye, almost meets at nape. Black primaries, red bill. Direct, rapid flight, pigeonlike, stiff, shallow wingbeats. The largest tropicbird.


Range and Habitat

Red-billed Tropicbird: Found in warm open ocean waters, often far from shore. Breeds on remote coastal islands or occasionally coastal mainland of Pacific Mexico and Caribbean. Occasional visitor off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Florida and California. Rare to Gulf Coast, one record for Arizona.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"krreea", "krri-krri-krri-krri-krri-krri"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It disperses widely when not breeding and sometimes wanders far, including an amazing record from Great Britain. One was recently found in eastern Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • The Indian Ocean race, P. a. indicus, was at one time considered a full species, the Lesser Red-billed Tropicbird.
  • The Red-billed Tropicbird is also known as the Boatswain Bird.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Red-billed Tropicbird

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Ashli Maruster

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X