(Last Updated on : 10-02-2017)
The Indian Subcontinent provides suitable habitats to various species of birds
for residing and nesting. Tropicbirds are no exception in this regard. Red-Billed Tropicbird, Red-Tailed Tropicbird and White-Tailed Tropicbird are the three tropicbirds which have been traced in India. They belong to the kingdom, Animalia
; phylum, Chordata
; class, Aves
; order, Phaethontiformes
; family Phaethontidae
; and genus, Phaethon
. These Tropicbirds are described below.
The dominant color on the body of an adult Red-Billed Tropicbird
is white. As the name of the bird suggests, it has a red colored bill, which is stout and slightly curved. It has fine black barring on the upper parts. The long wings have black markings on the flight feathers. Although male and female Red-Billed Tropicbirds are known to be similar, the male birds generally have longer tail streamers. This slender bird has been measured as the largest among the three tropicbird species. Its length ranges from 90 to100 cm, including the 50 cm long tail streamer. It has about 100 cm long wingspan. If the bird is greyer-backed and has a yellow bill, it then can be identified as a juvenile. This Tropicbird depends on fish, flying fish, crustaceans and other pelagic life for survival.
The dominant color on the body of a Red-Tailed Tropicbird is white. A pink tinge has also been noticed on the plumage of the bird. The slightly curved and serrated beak of the bird is crimson in color. There is a black crescent mark present around the eye. The Tropicbird has thin long trailing tail feathers, which are bright crimson in color. Its feet are black in appearance and are webbed. Red-Tailed Tropicbird is a small bird, with its length ranging from 75 to 80 cm, including tail streamer. Its weight ranges from 600 to 800 grams. This tropicbird catches its prey from the water surface and by plunge diving. It depends on fish
, flying fish, crustaceans
and squids for survival.
The dominant color on the body of a White -Tailed Tropicbird is white. The color of the bill ranges from orange-yellow to orange red. This Tropicbird has a black band on the inner wing. A black band is also present on the head of the bird, near the eyes. This tropicbird is a small bird, with a length ranging from 70 to 80 cm (of which the tail streamer is about 40 cm). The wingspan is about 100 cm. The male bird can be identified as having longer tail trail. White -Tailed Tropicbird depends on fish, flying fish, crustaceans and squids for survival.