Red-billed Tropicbirds spend most of their lives as open ocean long distance wanderers, returning to land only once a year, when the currents are right, in order to breed. Each pair of Tropicbirds rears just one chick, leaving it in the nest while they go off on long foraging flights.
As I speak, our main character for this sequence, a young Red-billed Tropicbird, pictured above, is resting in the vegetation on the hillside behind me. He's not a new born chick, so, not so cute, but he's funny looking, with half his head covered in fluffy down still - it sticks up at the back.
He's a bit of a punk, so we call him Sid, after Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. I say him, in truth there is no way I know to tell a Tropicbirds' sex, as a chick, or as an adult. Males and females look identical, a trait many monogamous birds share. It makes me wonder how they tell the difference!?
I'm currently on a steep sloping hillside looking out to sea, awaiting the return of the hard working Tropicbird parents. On their return with a crop full of fish, they can be mobbed by the piratical frigate birds, who perform a sort of mid-air hijacking. I've just taken a 360 degree series of pictures on this steep sloping headland to go along with an audio recording on my phone. Have a look and listen, hopefully they will give you a good idea of what's happening here right now.
Stephen Lyle's next report: Panoramic of Red Knots feeding on Horseshoe Crab eggs