Phaethontidae - Tropicbirds

As the name suggests, the three species of Tropicbird are usually to be found wandering the tropical oceans. They are very distinctive white birds with two long tail streamers. Their supposed resemblance to a marlinspike (a short spike designed to separate strands of rope or cable for splicing) means they are sometimes called 'bosun birds'. Only one species, the Red-billed Tropicbird has reached Britain, and then on very few occasions.