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White-Tailed Tropic Bird

White-Tailed Tropic Bird
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2002-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Tropicbirds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-03-07 10:00
Viewed: 7568
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Imagine my surprise when I logged on to TN to post this photograph, to find the featured location the Seychelles and to see my shot of Grand Anse Source d'Argent! This is the third of the species of tropic birds - again nesting. As you can see they do not make photography very easy!!

The White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus, is a tropicbird, smallest of three closely related seabirds of the tropical oceans and smallest member of the order Phaethontiformes. It occurs in the tropical Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Oceans. It also breeds on some Caribbean islands, and a few pairs have started nesting recently on Little Tobago, joining the Red-billed Tropicbird colony. In addition to the tropical Atlantic, it nests as far north as Bermuda, where it is locally called a "Longtail".

The White-tailed Tropicbird breeds on tropical islands laying a single egg directly onto the ground or a cliff ledge. It disperses widely across the oceans when not breeding, and sometimes wanders far. It feeds on fish and squid, caught by surface plunging, but this species is a poor swimmer. The call is a high screamed keee-keee-krrrt-krrt-krrt.

The adult White-tailed Tropicbird is a slender, mainly white bird, 7180 cm long including the very long central tail feathers, which double its total length. The wingspan is 8996 cm, and there is a black band on the inner wing There is black through the eye and the bill is orange-yellow to orange red. The bill colour, pure white back and black wing bar distinguish this species from Red-billed.

Sexes are similar, although males average longer tailed, but juveniles lack the tail streamers, have a green-yellow bill, and a finely barred back.

Cousin Island is a small (27 ha) granitic island of the Seychelles, lying 2 km SSW of Praslin. It is a nature reserve protected under Seychelles law as a Special Reserve and is run by Nature Seychelles, a national non-profit organization and Partner of BirdLife International .

Until 1968, Cousin Island was a coconut plantation that had been stripped of most of its native vegetation. The Seychelles Warbler had become almost extinct, with a population of only 26 birds. BirdLife International, at the time known as the ICBP, bought the island and removed young coconut trees, thus allowing the native vegetation and fauna to flourish. The warbler population has since grown to 3000 birds, and has been saved from extinction. Another nearly extinct endemic bird, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, has been re-introduced to Cousin by Nature Seychelles. The island is also known for a very large population of lizards, Aldabra Giant Tortoises, and is the single most important nesting site for hawksbill turtles in the Western Indian Ocean. It also hosts over 300,000 nesting seabirds of seven species.

Cousin island has a very popular ecotourism program. The island receives both international and local visitors every morning, Monday to Friday, and is closed on the weekends and public holidays. This programme has won several prizes including the Conde Nast ecotourism award and a Tourism for Tomorrow award.

Cousin is also known as a site for good practices in environmental management and has been the focus of many case studies in books and journals. It is a Demonstration Site for the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) and an Important Bird Area (IBA) designated by BirdLife International. It is used by international research organisations and universities as a research base.

Cousin island is now linked to other privately owned islands that contain endemic biodiversity through the Island Conservation Centre on Praslin island, funded by a World Bank/Global Environment Facility project. The Centre aims to increase awareness of conservation efforts on Cousin and elsewhere through displays, educational programs and work with grass roots groups.

rousettus, siggi, boreocypriensis, maurydv, xTauruSx, MMM, CeltickRanger, Mamagolo2, anemone has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello James
nice to see you again. I hope your trip to Africa finished very well. Today, I see a nice shot of Tropicbird from east of Africa, Seychelles. I know it from documentary films and books. you are lucky to see and capture it in nature, with a nice focus, POV and composition. thanks for sharing, with good informative notes. best wishes and have a good week.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-03-07 11:00]

Hello James,
Indeed not an ideal place for a good photo, but you made the best out of it. Nice photo of this White-tailed Tropicbird in good sharpness and natural colours. Better this kind of photos then disturbing her on the nest.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-03-07 12:37]

Hello James,
Very nice capture of this White-tailed Tropicbird. Well composed and great details. You did an excellent job on the white/black feathers.Best regards Siggi

Hi Bro James,

Welcome back again:) with this Seychelles that she did not give you a pose which you wish:)
Great natural capture MF!
Have a nice new week!


Hello James,
another very beautiful picture of the White-tailed Tropicbird, very good sharpness, beautiful colour tones, a nice composition with a lovely posture of this splendi bird.
Best regards
Ciao Maurizio

Hello James,
Fine shot with excellent colours and composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-03-08 6:44]

Hi James
Excellent capture I like that low POV in a natural hiding place.Light here is beautiful.Sharp image with good detail and a nice OOF BG
TFS Michel

hello James

excellent photo of the White-Tailed Tropic Bird with fine POV
and appropriate framing, you managed superbly your film camera
to obtain details on both the white plumage and the darker background,



hello my friend James,
what a beautiful scene, with nice pose in the environment of his nest, intense and beautiful colors elect the fine photo!
"keep photographing!" TFS

Hi James,
What a good capture of this stunning bird. Hope you got some good shots while you were in Africa. Very well done and TFS.

Hi James, impressive capture. The pov, dof and composition are phenomenal.
TFS. Kind regrads,

Ciao James, fantastic light on wonderul bird, splendid contrast against dark BG, I like a lot, very well done, ciao Silvio

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