Re: QOSI at Lord Howe Island

Subject: Re: QOSI at Lord Howe Island
From: Thyer <>
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 22:21:17 +1000
Ros Laundon wrote:
 We watched Red-tailed Tropicbirds over the northern cliffs for a long
> time.  Do they really fly backwards or is it an illusion?
        Hi Ros,
                I too have enjoyed the spectacle of many Red-tailed Tropicbirds
performing their aerobatic courtship displays, from the cliffs of
Malabar.It certainly looked to me like they flew backwards in "ferris
wheel" style. In the videos I took(in slow motion) you can see the bird
change the "pitch" of his wings and stall before he seems to fly upwards
and backwards in a vertical circle.
                I rate the display as one of the most spectacular sights I have 
seen. I watched for nearly 2 hours only retreating down the hill when I
felt the burning rays of the sun turning my skin to the bill colour of
the performers.

<"There were no gulls, none that we saw anyway.  Is there some reason
that LHI doesn't suit them?"> 
                An interesting observation. I wonder the same thing myself. 
There are
no gulls on the Hawaian Islands either and if you ask an Hawaian why,
they will say "look how far away from anywhere we are , it's just too
far for them to fly!!!"
                        Les Thyer

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