Lesser Frigatebird

Fregata ariel




Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground in mangroves, and in low bushes.

Nest Material:

Twigs and leaves held together by bird droppings.





Lesser Frigatebird: Large mostly black, glossed blue, purple or green seabird with a brown band on secondary coverts, white mark where inner wings meet body, and red throat patch that is inflated during courtship displays. Very long pointed wings; long forked tail; short legs and very small un-webbed feet. Female is usually larger than male and has black hood and white upper breast; has a less glossy sheen to the black feathers; gular pouch is unable to expand. Juvenile has tan head and white breast and axillary spurs. Races are similar.

Breeding and Nesting

Lesser Frigatebird: The males have a variety of calls and a bill rattling in their courtship displays, during which the red air sac is inflated. One white egg is laid in a platform nest made of twigs and leaves, built in small trees or shrubs or on the ground. Both sexes incubate the egg for six to seven weeks and continue to care for the young for 11 months.

Foraging and Feeding

Lesser Frigatebird: This frigatebird swoops down to snatch its main source of prey, flying fish, either while airborne or just beneath the surface. It also feeds on squid, jellyfish and scraps discarded by boats. It will often feed over tuna and other predatory fish that drive smaller fish species to the surface.


Lesser Frigatebird: Largely silent when away from colonies. Produces squeals and hisses. Male emits short whistles "weese-weese-weese." Female emits chicken like clucking "ka-chuk-chuk-chuk-chuk-chuk."

Similar Species

Lesser Frigatebird: Great Frigatebird lacks white on base of underwing in all plumages. Female Great Frigatebird also has white throat.

Located between the body and the wing of the bird. Similar to the human armpit, also called the wingpit.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area between the chin and the foreneck.
Secondary covertsX
The feathers that cover and protect the secondaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X