The red-billed tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), belongs to the tropicbirds family, Phaethontidae. There are three recognized subspecies of red-billed tropicbirds. The subspecies P. a. mesonauta is distributed in the east Pacific ocean, Caribbean sea and east Atlantic ocean. P. a. aethereus is distributed in the south Atlantic ocean. P. a. indicus occurs in Indian ocean, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and occasionally in waters adjoining western Indian islands.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized and evaluated these bird species and has listed them as of "least concern".
These crimson billed tropicbirds are the largest of the three tropicbird species and measure 90-100 cm in length, including the 50 cm long tail streamers. The wingspan is nearly 100 cm. The adult birds weigh around 750 grams. These birds have stout, slightly curved, crimson beak. They have white body with wings having black tips. The upper parts have fine black barring. There is a black stripe passing through the eyes. The males and females appear similar except for the longer tail streamer in the male birds.
These crimson billed tropicbirds are pelagic seabirds breeding on remote islands. They feed on fish, flying fish, crustaceans and other pelagic life plucked from the surface of the water or by diving into the water. These tropicbirds breed in loose colonies. The nest usually contain a single egg and the incubation is predominantly by the female bird. The parent tropicbirds take turns to feed the chick.
|Indian bird - Red-billed tropicbird - Phaethon aethereus|
|Biological classification of Phaethon aethereus|
|Binomial name:||Phaethon aethereus|
|Distribution:||Pakistan and western India;|
|Feeding habits:||small crustaceans, fish and squid,;|
|IUCN status listing:||Least Concern|
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phaethon_aethereus_Little_Tobago.jpg
Author: Jimfbleak | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Red-billed tropicbird - Phaethon aethereus.