Great Frigatebird

Fregata minor

Order

SULIFORMES

Family

Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)

Code 4

GREF

Code 6

FREMIN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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Copyright © 2019 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Great Frigatebird is a large seabird that breeds on islands in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, and one place in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. It wanders widely in pelagic waters and forages for flying fish and squid, steals food from other seabirds, and occasionally eats nestlings of tern species. The Great Frigatebird has been given a conservation rating of Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its large, stable population.

SUMMARY

Overview

Great Frigatebird: This is a large, mostly black seabird with a brown band on the base of the secondaries and a red throat patch. It has very long, pointed wings and a deeply forked tail, giving it a graceful, soaring, swooping flight. The elongated bill is slightly hooked at the end. The female has a dull red eye ring, a pale gray throat, and a white breast. It feeds mainly on fish and squid.


Range and Habitat

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Great Frigatebird SONGS AND CALLS

Great Frigatebird NN1

"Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo" warble sound made by displaying males.

Great Frigatebird D1

Typical calls as adults land at nesting colonies.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Frigatebirds have the longest duration of post-fledging parental care of any bird. Young are fed by parents for 4 to 14 months after fledging, depending on oceanic conditions. Length of care is longer in El Nino years.
  • Great Frigatebirds are also known as Man of War birds or Pirate birds. In Hawaii they are called Iwa, which means thief.
  • It was originally named Pelecanus minor because it was thought to be a small pelican. The species name, minor, Latin for 'smaller', was kept when it was placed in a different genus. This is the reason for the difference between the common name and the Latin name.
  • A group of frigatebirds are collectively known as a "fleet" and a "flotilla" of frigatebirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
SecondariesX
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X