White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)

This is an amazingly elegant and beautiful species! Whether you see them fly together or individually between the trees or above you against the blue sky, their elegance and beauty makes you stop and simply observe their behaviour and in amazement!

On Bird Island, Seychelles, you can get very close and intimate with these beauties, as this has been a reserve for so long they do not regard humans a threat in any way. I encountered them on nest in many places, but this one right outside the room was positioned in such a way that it became like living art – constantly changing. The long tail feathers were swaying in the very light wind, and occasionally leaned into this very position. All the other birds on nest had their tails either completely out of the way or slightly ruffled in awkward positions, but this one was pure elegance, and such a joy to watch.

As this nest was so close to my room, I could see how it changed positions and how it greeted its partner. How it panted in the midday sun, and how it relaxed as the sun set and the cooler night begun.

Interestingly I never encountered it in this position again – the tail feathers did not strike a pose like this a second time. Perhaps a week later… Always keep your camera ready for those special moments.

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)

It sounds like this:


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