White-tailed Tropicbird: A large bird, white with long black bar on upperwing coverts, outer primaries. Black loral mask which extends through and past eye. Bill is yellow to orange. Tail streamers are white and can be up to seventeen inches long. Legs and feet are yellowish, black webbing on toes.
Range and Habitat
White-tailed Tropicbird: Occurs off the coast of the southeastern United States and throughout the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico and tropical eastern Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It originates from breeding colonies in Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Three records of this bird exists in California and Arizona. Prefers rain forest to barren ground.
It is considered a national bird of Bermuda and its picture appears on postage stamps and on the 25-cent coin.
The White-tailed Tropicbird was first described in 1802 by François Marie Daudin, a French zoologist. In Bermuda it is called a Longtail, and in the Maldives it is known as Dhadifulhudhooni.
Tropicbirds can catch and eat rather large fish for their size, up to 18 percent of their body weight.
Unlike other Pelicaniformes, adults regurgitate food by putting their bills down the gaping chick's throat.