Magnificent Frigatebird
 Photo

General description.

The Magnificant Frigatebird wingspan is 7-1/2' tip to tip. He is all black with a red neck pouch. His bill is long and stout with a strong terminal hook. This bird is also know as the "Man-o-war", as it pirates food from other seabirds, snatching fish and other creatures on the wing.

Female appearance.

The female is brown with white breast.

Juvenile appearance.

Young birds are also brown, but with white heads and underparts.

Flight pattern.

The frigatebird soars on thermals far out at sea. When on land, he roosts high up in trees to aid in his take-off, for his small feet and narrow wings make this impossible from the ground. When fetching its dinner, the frigatebird slows to neutral, spread-tailed over a school of flying fish, then snaps the tail shut, wings half closed, and plummets in a strait dive. Just above the water, he spreads his wings again and snatches his catch.

Breeding habits.

The Magnificent Frigatebird is an unusual creature when attracting a mate. He inflates the red neck pouch, spreads wings and tail and claps his bill. They breed on mangrove islands in the Bay of Florida and in the Tropics.

Calls or song.

During courtship they make harsh guttural calls, but are otherwise silent at sea.

Population and distribution.

On the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida, the Texas Gulf Coast and California.

Nesting habits.

The male choses the nest sight, where one white egg is laid in a nest of sticks placed high in a tree or bush.

Similar birds:

Lesser Frigatebird Photo Lesser Frigatebird

Birds in the same Family:

Great Frigatebird Photo Great Frigatebird
Lesser Frigatebird Photo Lesser Frigatebird
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