White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)


Five subspecies are currently recognized:
P. l. lepturus
P. l. fulvus
P. l. dorotheae - breeds in the Tropical Pacific.

P. l. catesbyi - breeds Bermuda and Caribbean.

P. l. ascensionis



Where and When

In a  post to ID-Frontiers (26 June 2002), Louis Bevier affirmed that two subspecies of White-tailed Tropicbird have been documented in North America: P. l. catesbyi which is regularly encountered in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast (principally North Carolina to Florida) and dorotheae which is accidental to California and Arizona (at least 3 records: s.outhern California 24 May-23 Jun 1964, 300-500 miles off southern California Dec 1989, and in central Arizona 22 Aug 1980).

Photographs on the web

Adult in flight View of uppersurface, taken by Tony Palliser on Christmas Island in May

Series of adults and subadults Taken by Brian Patteson in Gulf Stream off North Carolina in July and August.


Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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