Phaethontidae – Tropicbirds

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) by Ian

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) by Ian

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)


CLASS – AVES, Order – PHAETHONTIFORMES, Family – Phaethontidae – Tropicbirds


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Species (3)

Phaethon
Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) by Ian
White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) by Ian
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On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia. “†” indicates the bird is extinct. *LLABS* means it is on Our Life List of All Birds Seen.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Dave’s BirdingPix
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway


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Tropicbirds are a family, Phaethontidae, of tropical pelagic seabirds now classified in their own order Phaethontiformes. Their relationship to other living birds is unclear, and they appear to have no close relatives. There are three species in one genus, Phaethon. They have predominantly white plumage with elongated tail feathers and small feeble legs and feet.

Tropicbirds plumage is predominantly white, with elongated central tail feathers. The three species have different combinations of black markings on the face, back, and wings. Their bills are large, powerful and slightly decurved. Their heads are large and their necks are short and thick. They have totipalmate feet (that is, all four toes are connected by a web). The legs of a tropicbird are located far back on their body, making walking impossible, so that they can only move on land by pushing themselves forward with their feet. (Wikipedia with editing)

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