Red-tailed Tropicbird: Medium tropicbird with silky white plumage, small but conspicuous black eyestripe. Bill is coral red. Legs and feet are black. Tail has long, red central streamers. Swift, purposeful flight, alternates fluttering wing beats with glides. Hovers while hunting and in courtship.
Range and Habitat
Red-tailed Tropicbird: Nests on the Hawaiian Islands and disperses widely in tropical and subtropical areas of the Indian and Pacific oceans; accidental off southern California. More pelagic that other tropicbirds, usually seen far out at sea.
Chicks are fed in shifts by the parents an average of every 17 hours.
The Red-tailed Tropicbird is the rarest of the tropicbirds, yet is still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened.
Their courtship displays are complex and consist of flying backwards, vertically, and in circles.
They feed offshore alone rather than in flocks.