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Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda)

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Birds Carry Plants to Hawaii

Three-quarters of Hawaii's native flowering plants probably come from seeds that hitched rides with birds. The bird-borne seeds that sprouted in Hawaii evolved into more than a thousand new species. The most likely seed-carriers were undoubtedly strong fliers, such as plovers or tropicbirds -... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Gliding with Tropicbirds

With the strong, direct flight of a falcon, a tropicbird can catch a flying fish on the wing, or plunge like an arrow into the sea and — with its serrated bill — capture a squid. Three species of tropicbirds range through most of the tropical latitudes of the world's oceans, and have done so for... read more »

Topics & Themes:  myth

Frigatebirds' Kleptoparasitism

In the warmer regions of the world’s oceans, large seabirds called boobies plunge headfirst into the water, snatching up fish. But as a booby flies up from the waves with a fish now in its gullet, there may be another big seabird — a frigatebird — with its eye on the booby’s fresh catch. Now... read more »