Phaethon rubricauda | red-tailed tropicbird | koaʻe ʻula


Other Names: koae ula

Koaʻe ʻula, with their long red tail feathers, is a graceful flyer over the ocean. With a wingspan of nearly 4-feet, they are brilliant white with black streaks around its eyes and a yellow to red bill. Feeding on fish and squid throughout the day, they nest and roost on the ground under the shade of bushes. The long tail feathers were highly valued by Hawaiian artisans, especially in the making of kahili, or feather standards that often surrounded royalty.