DISTRIBUTION: The Red-tailed tropicbird … Chicks are fed in shifts by the parents an average of every 17 hours. Relatively little is known about this species, which pairs for life and raises a single chick … One single beige egg with brown blotches is laid. The endangered seabird species struggles to walk on the ground and only ventures on land to nest and raise its young. The vulnerable Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) is rarely seen on land as it spends most of its life at sea, so USC marine biologist Dr Kathy Townsend said it was exciting to find five active nests among Lady Elliot Island’s known breeding colony recently. The Red-tailed Tropicbird is the rarest of the tropicbirds, yet is still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened. Rarely seen on land, the Red-tailed tropicbird spends most of its life at sea. Note: Video taken during standard seabird monitoring trip. Their courtship … Both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick. Red-tailed Tropicbird adult (white) feeding its overzealous chick (spotted & noisy)! The chicks are white and the juveniles have a mottled black and white plumage. ... “Their old records showed it was first tagged as a chick … USC Animal Ecology Honours student Zerra Edgerton with a Red-tailed Tropicbird chick, nicknamed 'Marshmallow' on Lady Elliot Island.