Christmas Island National Park

The white-tailed tropicbird, or golden bosun, is a Christmas Island icon.

Slightly smaller than the red-tailed tropicbird, this beautiful seabird is found from the western Pacific to the Caribbean. But Christmas Island is home to a unique subspecies whose gold-tinged feathers have earned it its local name – the golden bosun.

Golden bosuns forage at sea, diving into the water to feed on fish and squid.

They breed all year round on Christmas Island, laying their eggs in rock crevices and the hollows of rainforest trees.

White-tailed tropicbird. Photo: Wondrous World Images White-tailed tropicbird. Photo: Wondrous World Images

Where to see them

You can easily see these birds chasing each other over the town and forest. Good places to watch them in flight are the Golf Course Lookout and Margaret Knoll Lookout.

Scientific name

Phaethon lepturus fulvus