Queensland, Australia

A terrific Red-tailed tropicbird in midair balances beautifully against the blue sky. With its wings fully spread, including its red tail. That bird we call an areal seabird.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 11 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/1600s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 200mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 3264 by 4224 pixels (WxH).

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A terrific Red-tailed tropicbird in midair balances beautifully against the blue sky. You see the bird from underneath and is looking directly at the camera. With its wings fully spread, including its red tail. That bird we call an areal seabird. You will most commonly find these birds over the open ocean. Their habitats are the subtropical and tropical seas. This photograph of the Red-tailed tropicbird in midair was captured on Lady Elliott Island. The beautiful island lies within the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Surprisingly, they built their nests between sheltering bushes on the ground. Both birds, male and female, share the breeding and providing food for the chick.

The Red-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda, is native to the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. They also wander great distances from their nesting grounds to fish. They mainly eat squid, flying fish, mackerel balloon fish, and also Mahi-Mahi. To catch the fish, they plunge into the water. Swimming is not their sport, as well as walking on the ground. Their legs and feet are too weak for that. Therefore, they are incredibly vulnerable to predators on land.

Overall, the Red-tailed tropicbird in flight is a gracious bird. You can find them in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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