White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus

  • Order: Phaethontiformes
  • Family: Phaethontidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors needed...


Distinguishing Characteristics

35.5 - 43 cm, and in addition 28 - 38 cm of the central tail feathers. 300 g. Bill yellow to reddish-orange. Body mainly white. Line around the eye and outer flight feathers of wings, black. A diagonal black bar crosses upperwing. Tail white including central feathers. Tail streamers white. Males and females are similar. Juveniles have the bill dark blue-gray, crown strongly spotted blackish, and feathers that cover the wings with a broad black barred.

Similar Species

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) is larger, with a more elaborate flight, the juvenile has white crown and a narrow black barred on the upperparts, a black line around the eye that extends to the nape, the adult has the upper parts finely barred and red bill. Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) is larger and robust, it appears completely white, and the adult has the central tail feathers red.

Detailed Description

Information needed. Contribute

Recommended Citation

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/whttro