Boatswain Bird

The Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), a pelagic seabird photographed in the Caribbean Ocean last year. Little is known of this species, but it is known to be the largest of three species of tropicbird, this one of which nests on the ground or in rocky crevices of remote tropical islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. There have however, also been rare one-off sightings of lone wanderers in the northern Atlantic. It is known by some ‘old sailors’ as the Boatswain Bird because its call is said to represent the sound of a ‘Boatswain’s call’ (whistle) of traditional naval heritage.

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