Tropicbirds

Phaethontidae

These gull-like birds have long tapering wings and the adults are characterised by long central tail streamers. Three species in Australia, none of which are endemic. The Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda (2 subspecies) and the White-tailed Tropicbird P. lepturus (3 subspecies) are resident, with the Christmas Island White-tailed Tropicbird P. l. fulvus not recorded breeding anywhere else in the world. The Red-billed Tropicbird P. aethereus has been recorded as a vagrant.

Red-tailed Tropicbird

Phaethon rubricauda This is one of three similarly looking large white seabirds that occur within Australia and its territories. It can be generally identified by its long red tail streamers, although these are not present, or are greatly reduced, in young birds. The adult can be distinguished from the White-tailed Tropicbird P. lepturus (see p. ???) by its bright white plumage, red tail streamers...