Scientific Name: Phaethon lepturus
Malay Name: Camar-Pita Paruh Kuning
Chinese Name: 白尾鹲
Range: Found from tropical and subtropical Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to the Caribbean.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: catesbyi, ascensionis, lepturus, europae, fulvus, dorotheae.
Local Subspecies: fulvus
Size: 38-41 cm
Identification: Adult is distinctively looking with whitish overall plumage, very long central tail feathers, diagonal black band across upperwing coverts, blackish patch at outer primaries, black mask and yellowish bill. Ssp. fulvus which breeds on Christmas Island has a golden wash to its white plumage and is also known as the Golden Bosunbird. Juvenile lacks the central tail feathers and black diagonal band and has black bars/scales on mantle.
Habitat: Open seas.
Behaviour/Ecology: Wanders widely outside breeding season.
Local Status: Vagrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2020)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
BirdLife International. (2020). Phaethon lepturus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22696645A163887639.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Lim, K. S. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Yong, D. L. (2015). The first record of a White-tailed Tropicbird for Singapore? Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group. Retrieved December 25, 2021 from https://singaporebirdgroup.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/the-first-record-of-a-white-tailed-tropicbird-for-singapore/.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). White-tailed Tropicbird. Retrieved on November 30, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/white-tailed-tropicbird.