Red-billed Tropicbird 2012

Red-billed Tropicbirds are the largest of the three tropicbird species.  Tropicbirds are three closely-related, graceful seabird species. These species are best known for their two extremely elongated central tail feathers.

Red-billed Tropicbirds are named after their crimson-red bills. These tropical seabirds spend most of their time over the open water.  They are world-travelers as they have been found as far as Great Britain in their time away from the tropics.  These birds only come on to remote oceanic islands to breed and lay a single egg.  Eggs are usually laid on the ground or on a rocky-cliff ledge.  Red-billed tropicbirds fly high over the water before diving down to catch fish and squid.  They have a strong, energetic flight, using rapid wing-beats rather than gliding or soaring, and it also swims well, with the long tail held up out of the water.

ARKive and Wikipedia

The photos below show a Red-billed Tropicbird on a rocky cliff and also in flight.

Birding Panama

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