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Tropicbird

Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)Tropicbird (Phaethon)
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Tropicbird Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Aves
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Phaethontiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Phaethontidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Phaethon
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Phaethon
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Bird
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
75cm - 100cm (30in - 40in)
Wing Span:
The measurement from one wing tip to the other
95cm - 115cm (37in - 45in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
0.3kg - 0.7kg (0.6lbs - 1.5lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
48km/h (30mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
10 - 16 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Flock
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, White, Brown,Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Feathers
Favourite Food:Fish
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Tropical islands and cliffs
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
1
Main Prey:Fish. Squid, Flying Fish
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Dogs, Cats, Stouts
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Long pointed beak and large body size

Tropicbird Location

Map of Tropicbird Locations

Tropicbird

The tropicbird is a large species of sea bird found nesting on the warmer cliffs and islands that dot our oceans. Despite having been thought to be closely related to other large sea birds such as pelicans, boobies and frigatebirds, the tropicbird has been recently classified in a group of it's own.

There are three different species of tropicbird found throughout the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The exact range and location depends on the species of tropicbird, although all three species can be found in parts of all the major oceans.

Tropicbirds are large-sized birds ans can grow to up to a meter in height. The three different tropicbird species are the red-billed tropicbird, the red-tailed tropicbird and the white-tailed tropicbird, all of which are generally white in colour with long tail feathers, and thin spindly legs.

Tropicbirds are known to catch their prey by plunging into the surface of the water in order to snap up their dinner. Away from their breeding colonies, tropicbirds are generally solitary animals usually seen hunting on their own or in a pair.

Like other sea birds, tropicbirds are carnivorous animals as they feed primarily on fish. The flying fish is a favourite meal for the tropicbird along with the occasional squid or crustacean. The method of hunting used by tropicbirds is known as plunge-diving, and is common practise for many sea birds.

Due to their large size and airborne lifestyle, the tropicbird has few (if any) natural predators in it's environment. The primary predators of the tropicbird are small carnivores such as dogs, stouts and cats that have been introduced to areas by humans, and generally hunt the smaller tropicbird chicks.

Tropicbirds nest in dips, crevices and holes on the ground in large breeding colonies, usually found on cliff tops or small tropical islands. The female tropicbird lays a single egg, which hatches after being incubated by both parents for about 6 weeks. Both the male and female tropicbirds then feed their chick together until it fledges (flies away from the nest), at around 3 months old.

Today, tropicbird populations still seem to be thriving as they have not come under threat from drastic habitat loss. However, the arrival of non-native species to islands and increasing levels of water pollution, both have an affect on tropicbird populations.

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First Published: 17th May 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 17 May 2010]

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