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The adult Red-tailed Tropicbird is predominantly white with a pink sheen of varying intensity. Central tail feathers are characteristically bright red and elongated, into streamers. There is a black stripe extending on ether side of the eye. The bill is bright red and the legs and feet are grey to black. The juvenile is heavily barred black and white on its head, back, rump and upper wing. The bill is grey or black and there are no red streamers.