The red-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) belongs to the family of tropicbirds, Phaethontidae. These seabirds nest in colonies in remote islands off Indian and Pacific oceans. There are four recognized subspecies of red-tailed tropicbirds. The subspecies P. r. rubricauda occurs in western Indian ocean. The subspecies P. r. westralis is found in the eastern Indian ocean. The subspecies P. r. roseotinctus and P. r. melanorhynchos occur in Pacific ocean.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized and evaluated these bird species and has listed them as of "least concern".
These tropicbirds are small birds, measuring 75-80 cm in length including tail streamers and weighing 600-800 grams. The streamers may measure up to 35 cm in length. They have predominantly white plumage, often with a pink tinge. The long trailing tail feathers are bright crimson in color. The beak is crimson, curved slightly and serrated. The feet are webbed and black in color. There is a black crescent mark around the eyes.
These tropicbirds are pelagic birds, rarely seen from the land. They feed by catching their prey from the water surface as well as plunge diving. Their feed consists of fish, flying fish, crustaceans and squids. These birds are monogamous and nest on the ground. The female lays a single egg and both the parents take turns in incubating. The parents feed the chick for two to three months.
|Indian bird - Red-tailed tropicbird - Phaethon rubricauda|
|Biological classification of Phaethon rubricauda|
|Binomial name:||Phaethon rubricauda|
|Distribution:||Indian and Pacific Oceans;|
|Feeding habits:||small crustaceans, fish and squid,;|
|IUCN status listing:||Least Concern|
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Red-tailed_Tropicbird_RWD2.jpg
Author: DickDaniels | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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