16 inches for length, with a tail of 12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Big bird with white body and two black lines on the periphery of the eye. Black feathers with an incomplete “V” on the dorsal side of the body (visible in flight). Black feathers at the base, marked with black at the end of the wings on their dorsum. Two long white or yellow feathers decorate the tail. The beak is yellow and the legs are blue and black at the tip.
Tropical and subtropical seas. Breeds in the five archipelagos of French Polynesia.
Nests in cliff cavities, tree or on the ground. Seen around the seaside cliffs and were located inland on Tahiti up to 600 meters.
Loud and defensive shouts from the nest, “ttt …” loud and crackling calls in flight and on parade.
To listen the White-tailed Tropicbird:
Cephalopods and fish it catches by diving.
Studied outside French Polynesia. Niches throughout the year in a hole by the trees and in hollow cliffs. The spawn consists of a white egg with dark purple spots (50 x 36 mm). Incubation lasts 41 days and the young takes off at the age of 10-15 weeks.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientifique Name: Phaethon lepturus Daudin, 1802
Hopetea, pete’a, ma’uro’a hope u’o, mauroa, ma’uroa kopetea, mauroa-hope-‘uo, petea (Society), makura (Tuamotu), tavake uaka (Mangareva), to’ake, to’ae, toake, tovake, tova’e, tevake, teva’e (Marquesas), mauroa (Tubuai), petea (Rimatara)
Common species in Polynesia.
The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.