Magnificent Frigatebird, (Fregata magnificens) flying on wind currents. Able to soar on wind currents for weeks at a time, spends most of the day in flight hunting over water.

Frigatebirds can spend weeks in flight. They can soar on wind currents for days without landing.

Frigatebirds are designed for flight. A frigatebird has a light body, weighing only 2 to 3 pounds (1-1.5kg) and immense, slender wings to more than 7 feet (2.3m) in length. Frigatebirds have the largest wing area to body weight of any bird.

The narrowness and angularity of the wings enable them to fly with great speed and agility. Their long, forked tails help them steer.

Frigatebirds spend much of their lives gliding over the ocean; they take food from the surface of the ocean or from other birds. The frigatebird’s feathers are not waterproof so when they feed they hold their wings up to avoid getting them wet and dip only their bill into the water. The frigatebird has a long, slender, hooked bill.

Frigatebird on Galapagos islands
Frigatebird on Galapagos islands

Frigatebirds are found in the tropical Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. They nest on small, mostly uninhabited islands.

The male frigatebird is black with a glossy green sheen and long, pale wingbars. When courting, the male exhibits a scarlet, ballon-like throat pouch. The female is black and white.

Frigatebirds have a low breeding rate and the longest period of parental care of any bird.

The scientific name of the Frigatebird is Fregata magnificens.

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