BIRD OF THE WEEK — WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phaethon lepturus 
POPULATION: Unknown
TREND: Declining
HABITAT: Breeds on tropical islands; spends most of its life at sea.

The species is widespread in the tropics, found as five subspecies around the world. With long, narrow wings and an aerodynamic shape, this bird can remain in flight for long periods of time.

Sailors sometimes refer to tropicbirds as “bosun” (boatswain) birds because of their shrill, repeated calls, thought to resemble a boatswain’s whistle.

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