1535. Phaethon rubricauda.
The Red-tailed Tropic-bird.
Phaeton rubricauda, Bodd. Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 57; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 849 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 322; Hume, Cat. no. 996; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 224. ? Phaeton aetherius, apud Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 374; id. Cat. p. 296; id. Ibis, 1867, p. 178.
Coloration. White, often tinged with rosy; a patch in front of the eye and a small streak behind, the shafts of the primaries and tail-feathers, except at the ends, broad shaft-stripes to the later secondaries and tertiaries, black; there are broad grey shaft-stripes on the long flank-feathers; the long middle tail-feathers have black shafts and red webs.
Young birds have the upper parts barred with black.
Bill yellow; legs and basal portions of feet yellow ; rest of feet black. Tail-feathers 16.
Length 33; tail 19; wing 13; tarsus 1.25; bill from gape 3.25.
Distribution. Tropical portions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This species is said to have been repeatedly obtained or seen in the Bay of Bengal, and as Hume described an undoubted specimen which he said came from the area, I include the species. There is no specimen from Indian seas in the British Museum, and it is certain that P. indicus has been on several occasions taken for the young of the present form.