2018—Built for Flying
The Red-tailed Tropicbird is built for flying. According to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds their pelvis, legs, and webbed feet are weak and they are “virtually helpless on the ground.” Instead, they are robust flyers and except when they are nesting, they spend most of their lives in the air, over the oceans.
Between rainstorms at the Kilauea Lighthouse in the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, we photographed lots of Red-tailed Tropicbirds as they soared and dove, and displayed. Their flight seemed effortless and they looked as if they were flying for the sheer joy of feeling the wind beneath their wings.