The white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) belongs to the tropicbird family, Phaethontidae. Of the three closely related tropicbirds, this tropicbird is the smallest. It occurs in the tropical Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Oceans. There are six recognized subspecies. The subspecies P. l. catesbyi occurs in Caribbean and Bermuda.
The subspecies P. l. ascensionis is found in central and southern Atlantic ocean. P. l. europae is found in Europa Island and south Mozambique Channel. P. l. lepturus occurs in Indian Ocean. The subspecies P. l. fulvus occurs in Christmas Island. P. l. dorotheae occurs in western and central 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".
The white-tailed tropicbird is a small bird, measuring 70-80 cm in length of which tail streamer is about 40 cm. The wingspan is nearly 100 cm. They have mostly white plumage and a black band on the inner wing. There is also a black band through the eyes. the bill is orange-yellow to orange red.
They feed on fish, flying fish, crustaceans and squids. The males tend to have longer tail trails. These birds breed on the tropical islands. They lay eggs directly on the ground. A single egg is laid and is incubated by both the parents.
|Indian bird - White-tailed tropicbird - Phaethon lepturus|
|Biological classification of Phaethon lepturus|
|Binomial name:||Phaethon lepturus|
|Distribution:||tropical Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Oceans;|
|Feeding habits:||small crustaceans, fish and squid,;|
|IUCN status listing:||Least Concern|
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White-tailed_tropicbird.jpg
Author: Yooshau | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: White-tailed tropicbird - Phaethon lepturus.