White-tailed Tropicbird

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

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)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

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)
Early date 22 Jun 2015
Late date 22 Jun 2015
The only record of this species in Singapore so far was of a rescued bird in Jun 2015.


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/.

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