|Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Phaethontidae|
Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) - photo by Greg Lasley
Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) is a scarce visitor in coastal regions of India.
Identification: Size 48 cm. Wingspan: 44 inches. Sexes similar. Pelagic bird only coming ashore to breed. Tern-sized bird with white head and body. Finely barred back. Outer primaries black. Dark eye patch sometimes extends across nape. Adult birds have long white tail streamers and red bill. Immature birds lack tail streamers and have yellow bill.
Similar species: Adult Red-billed Tropicbird is larger than
White-tailed Tropicbird with a
slower wingbeat and lacks black patches on upperwing. Immature Red-billed has
less distinct barring on the back. Adult
Red-tailed Tropicbird lacks barring on the back. Immature Red-tailed has
less black on the nape and in the primaries.