Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), 6.5 mi. north of Payson; upper East Verde River, Gila County
This Red-billed Tropicbird was photographed by Thory Smith on 14 August 2014
and Jan Miller on 22 Aug 2014
This juvenile was found at 0600 by Genevieve Price in "Beaver Valley", a small community along the upper East Verde River approximately 6.5 mi. north of Payson at an elevation of 4850 ft. The photo was taken by a neighbor Thory Smith. Coordinating with AZGFD Wildlife Manager, David Daniels, Thory took it to Liberty Wildlife in Scottsdale for rehabilitation on 15 Aug
and as of 22 Aug the bird was doing fine where it was
photographed by Jan Miller. In late August Liberty
Wildlife was able to send the bird to Sea World in San
Diego for release.
Accidental to casual vagrant to Arizona
this would be the 8th record if accepted. Interestingly
these records span 6 different months and 6 different
counties (this would be a first both for August and for
Gila Co. and likely the most "inland" record in the state).
Sitting young tropicbirds are a difficult identification
and with a previous record of White-tailed Tropicbird for Arizona
care should be taken. Note the white
crown (White-tailed should have some spotting) and black
mask extending onto the nape and behind the head (White-tailed should be
bolder in front of the eye and stop before the nape).
The best identification feature is the black primary
coverts (white in White-tailed) visible on the spread
14 August 2014, photo by Thory Smith
22 August 2014, photo by Jan MillerAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 19 August 2014