Phaeton indicus

Phaeton indicus, Hume.

996bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 327.


Length, including elongated central tail-feathers which project from 3 to 5.9 inches beyond the rest of the tail, 20 to 23 ; expanse, 37 to 40 ; tail, 7.5 to 10.5 ; wing, 10.75 to 11.75 ; tarsus, 1; bill at front, 2.4.

Irides deep brown ; legs and hind-toe with web white, tinged bluish and creamy-yellow ; rest of feet and claws black.

A broad conspicuous black crescent in front of the eye, and a narrow black line, from the gape to nostrils, and nostrils to culmen, dividing the feathers from the bill ; the whole forehead, front part of the crown, ear-coverts, and entire lower parts, including wing lining and axillaries, pure white ; a black line from the posterior angle of the eye, running round the back of the nape, where it forms a more or less conspicuous half-collar; hind-crown and nape inside the half-collar white, each feather with a triangular black bar near the tip; carpal joint of wing, four or five posterior primaries, all the secondaries, the primary coverts except those of the first five quills, the greater and median coverts pure white ; winglet, greater-coverts, shafts and outer webs of the first five primaries, together with a narrow stripe along the shaft of the inner web, black ; the extreme tips and inner webs of these feathers white; tertiaries and their greater-coverts black, narrowly margined on the exterior webs and tipped with white ; the lesser secondary-coverts similar; the entire back, rump, scapulars and upper tail-coverts white, closely barred with black, the bars being slightly cuspidate on the upper back, and the longest scapulars almost devoid of barring; tail-feathers white, their bases black shafted, and the lateral feathers mostly with an arrow-head bar or spot near the tips.

The above description is reproduced from " Stray Feathers."- It still remains doubtful whether this is an immature phase of P. oethereus or a new species.

Several specimens have been obtained at different times on the Mekran Coast.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Phaeton indicus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Tropic Bird
Phaethon aethereus indicus
Term name: 

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