Friday, October 1, 2010

The Seabirds Return – Ascension Island . 2005

Page 51

Ascention Island Post collaborated with Birdlife International issued the seabird stamps like Fairy Tern actually  White Tern(Gygis Alba), White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus), Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Brown Noody (Anous stolidus), and Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus).

The White Tern (Gygis alba) is a small seabird found across the tropical oceans of the world. Sometimes known as the Fairy Tern although this name is potentially confusing as it is the common name of the Fairy Tern Sternula nereis.The White Tern is a small, all white tern with a long black bill, related to the noddies. It ranges widely across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and also nests in some Atlantic islands. It nests on coral islands, usually on trees with thin branches but also on rocky ledges and on man-made structures. The White Tern feeds on small fish which it catches by plunge diving.This small tern is famous for laying its egg on bare thin branches in a small fork or depression without a nest.

TheWhite-tailed Tropicbird , Phaethon lepturus, is a tropicbird, smallest of three closely related seabirds of the tropical oceans and smallest member of the order Phaethontiformes. It occurs in the tropical Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Oceans. It also breeds on some Caribbean islands.This species, also known as the Yellow-billed Tropicbird, co-exists with the Red-billed Tropicbird on Ascension Island where it is approximately twice as abundant as its larger relative.The adult White-tailed Tropicbird is a slender, mainly white bird, 71–80 cm long including the very long central tail feathers, which double its total length. The wingspan is 89–96 cm, and there is a black band on the inner wing There is black through the eye and the bill is orange-yellow to orange red.It feeds on fish and squid, caught by surface plunging, but this species is a poor swimmer. The call is a high screamed keee-keee-krrrt-krrt-krrt.A recommended site to see White-tailed Tropicbirds is Boatswain Bird Island, Ascension Island.

The Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae.Their heads and backs are black, and their bellies are white. Their beaks are quite sharp and contain many jagged edges. The Brown Booby  have short wings and long, tapered tails.The adult brown booby reaches about 76 centimetres (30 in) in length.The Brown Boobys are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface and may catch leaping fish while skimming the surface.They frequent the breeding grounds of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

The Brown Noddy or Common Noddy (Anous stolidus) is a tropical seabird with a worldwide distribution, ranging from Hawaii to the Tuamotu Archipelago and Australia in the Pacific Ocean, from the Red Sea to the Seychelles and Australia in the Indian Ocean and in the Caribbean to Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic Ocean. The Brown Noddy is colonial, usually nesting on the in elevated situations on cliffs or in short trees or shrubs. It only occasionally nests on the ground. A single egg is laid by the female of a pair each breeding season.The Brown Noddy is a seabird from the tern family.

The Red-billed Tropicbird occurs in the tropical Atlantic, eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Red-billed Tropicbird have all dimensions bigger than the White-tailed Tropicbirds.Juvenile tropicbirds of both species are difficult to differentiate but young White-tailed Tropicbirds tend to have heavier dark barring.The Red-billed Tropicbird, Phaethon aethereus, also known as the Boatswain Bird is a tropicbird, one of three closely related seabirds of tropical oceans.It breeds on tropical islands laying a single egg directly onto the ground or a cliff ledge.The adult is a slender, mainly white bird, 48 cm long, excluding the central tail feathers which double the total length, and a one metre wingspan. The long wings have black markings on the flight feathers. There is black through the eye. The bill is red. Sexes are similar, although males average longer tails.

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