Sunday, September 26, 2010

White-tailed Tropicbird

It seemed like that at every waterfall we visited (which were many) while in the Hawaiian Islands, there were these gorgious white birds with long tails circling the the sky above waterfalls. They were in constant motion and always at heights that were impossible to get a good photo (Below - a bad attempt at photographing  one). When I asked a local the name of these birds I was told "White Tropicbird."  At first I though they were pulling my leg - that would be like calling a blue bird we see in the Rocky Mountains, a Blue Mountainbird or a Mountain Bluebird ... oh.

This is the best photo I captured of the perpetually in-motion White-tailed Tropicbird at Wailua Falls, which was the waterfall used in the opening scene of the old television show "Fantasy Island."; Kauai, Hawaii; 7/11/08.


Wailua Falls on the Island of Kauai was used in the opening scene of the old TV show, "Fantasy Island."; Hawaii; 7/11/08.
Well the true name is indeed, a White-tailed Tropicbird. The Tropicbird is a large white bird  with a long black bar on upperwing coverts, and a black loral mask which extends through and past its eye. Its bill is yellow to orange and its unique trait is its extremely long white tail streamers that can be up to seventeen inches long. Its legs and feet are yellowish, with black webbing on the toes. These birds breed on windward sea cliffs on oceanic islands throughout the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans as well as the Caribbean. (Below - for a better view of this beautiful bird - not my photo)

A better view of a White-tailed Tropcbird; Google Images. http://www.itsnature.org/air/birds-air/white-tailed-tropicbird/

1 comment:

tammymcchesney said...

I love this bird in flight...what a cool looking bird! That tail is amazing! And wow, those falls are gorgeous...I used to love the show Fantasy Island (I think that ages me)! :)