Great Frigatebird

Fregata minor




Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Dull white.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On top of bush or small tree.

Nest Material:

Twigs and flotsam.


Some migrate



Great Frigatebird: Large mostly glossy green-black seabird with brown band on base of secondaries and red throat patch that is inflated during courtship displays. Very long, pointed wings and long, forked tail. They have short legs and webbed feet. Their bills are long and hook-tipped. Female is larger; has dull red eye ring, pale gray throat and white breast. Juvenile has tawny head and breast, white belly and vent. They never land on water. They lack the oil-secreting gland which keeps the seabirds' feathers dry.

Breeding and Nesting

Great Frigatebird: Nests are generally platforms built of twigs, sticks and other materials on the same trees or bushes that were used by males for courtship displays. This results in clustered nesting colonies of three to 50 nests. One dull white egg is laid in a large nest. Eggs are incubated immediately after laying by both sexes for 55 days. The young begin to fly at 150 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Great Frigatebird: These birds are best known for their kleptoparasitic habits; they frequently steal food from other sea birds by harassing them until they drop their prey or regurgitate a recent meal. They mainly eat flying fish and squid. Most foraging occurs over deep ocean waters in areas where upwelling, divergence, or convergence brings nutrient rich water close to the surface.


Great Frigatebird: Usually silent when not in breeding colonies. During mating, displaying males produce a warbling "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo."

Similar Species

Great Frigatebird: Lesser Frigatebird is smaller and male has white patches that extend from the flank to the underwing.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
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.
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X