Also known as the silver bosun, the red-tailed tropicbird is an elegant seabird whose white plumage often features a tinge of pink.
Red-tailed tropicbirds have a black crescent around their eye and long red tail-streamers. Adult birds have a bright red beak and black feet.
They feed on fish and squid, plunging into the sea to snatch their prey from beneath the water.
Christmas Island is home to about 1400 breeding pairs. They nest on cliffs throughout the year, producing a single pink-coloured egg.
Red-tailed tropicbird with chick. Photo: Wondrous World Images
Where to see them
You’ll often see flocks of red-tailed tropicbirds flying above the town and Smith Point.
Phaethon rubricauda westralis