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Red-tailed Tropicbird | Phaethon rubricauda

The Red-tailed Tropicbird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phaethontidae bird family group which includes birds such as Tropic, birds.

The description for the Red-tailed Tropicbird (Latin name Phaethon rubricauda) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phaethon rubricauda can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 47 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 564. You will find a picture of the Red-tailed Tropicbird on page 545.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Red-tailed Tropicbird between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Red-tailed Tropicbird has a height of 105 cms and weighs around 900 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured red. The Phaethon rubricauda has a white coloured throat, blue, grey legs and a white coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are blue, grey

Throat is white

Back is white

Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Red-tailed Tropicbird is a very rare bird that can only be seen out at sea following fish vessels. It can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Red-tailed Tropicbird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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