Red-billed Tropicbird,  Phaethon aethereus

Number of accepted Red-billed Tropicbird records for Louisiana = 4 as of June 2015

Accepted Records

One adult (96-41) on 9 June 1996, Gulf of Mexico: approx. 13 mi. SE mouth of South Pass of the Mississippi River, 28°32.1'N, 88° 36.3'W; Dwight E. Peake, Richard H. Peake (ph only), B. Mac Myers III (ph) (FN 50(5):960; LOS 175; LOS 176).
This represents the first record for Louisiana.

One adult (97-58) on 24 May 1997; Gulf of Mexico: 47 mi. SSW of Venice, 28° 14’ N, 89° 30’ W; Phillip Wallace (ph), Robert D. Purrington, John P. Sevenair (ph in FN), Joseph P. Kleiman, and David P. Muth (ph only); FN 51(4): 881.

One adult (97-36) on 13 Sep 1997; Gulf of Mexico: 50 mi. S of Southwest Pass Mississippi River, 28° 12’ 53” N, 89° 27’ 21” W; Daniel F. Lane (sketch), M. J Babin (ph), R. D. Purrington, Phillip Wallace (ph), John P. Sevenair (ph), and Joseph P. Kleiman (ph only); FN 52(1): 72.

One immature male (2004-59) on 29 Sep 2004, Gulf of Mexico: 39.4 mi. SSE South Pass Mississippi River, 28°30'03.5"N, 88°50'15.9"W, Steven W. Cardiff (LSUMZ 177126) and Donna L. Dittmann (*); first sighted by David P. Muth. This record was inexplicably not included with other regional tropicbird reports in NAB59(1):90, but a report therein of a “Wilson’s Storm-Petrel,” noted as “Louisiana’s 5th specimen,” from the same date and location almost certainly pertains to this tropicbird record as no Wilson’s Storm-Petrels were found on that trip and, at that time, there were many more than 5 specimens of Wilson’s Storm-Petrel from Louisiana waters.
This is the fourth accepted record and first specimen for Louisiana.

Unaccepted Records

One in Juvenal plumage (2011-117) on 3 September 2011, Orleans: New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain off intersection of Canal Blvd.and Lakeshore Dr. This bird was observed briefly at relatively long distances without aid of a scope under poor viewing conditions during the passage of Tropical Storm Lee. When combined with the inexperience of the reporting observer with seabirds, and the description of the bird’s behavior, most Members were reluctant to accept what would have represented Louisiana’s first occurrence of a storm-blown tropicbird.