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Magnificent Frigatebird - Fregata magnificens



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Pelecaniformes
 Family: Fregatidae
 Genus: Fregata
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


Magnificent FrigatebirdThe magnificent frigatebird is a large black bird. It is about three feet in length and has a wingspan of over seven feet. The magnificent frigatebird has a long gray bill with a hooked tip. It has a deeply forked, scissor-like tail and sharply pointed wings.

Magnificent FrigatebirdIn the breeding season, male magnificent frigatebirds have a bright red throat pouch that they puff out to attract a mate. Females have white throats and bellies.


mapDuring breeding season, the magnificent frigatebird is found in coastal Florida and in the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the non-breeding season, it is found from the coast of North Carolina south to Florida and west to Texas. The magnificent frigatebird is also found on the coast of California.


Magnificent FrigatebirdThe magnificent frigatebird lives on ocean coasts and islands. In breeding season, the magnificent frigatebird lives on mangrove islands.


The magnificent frigatebird eats small fish, squid, jellyfish, and crustaceans. It may also take young turtles, birds, and eggs.

Life Cycle

Magnificent Frigatebird Frigatebirds nest in colonies. Male frigatebirds inflate their red throat pouches to attract a mate. The female frigatebird lays one egg in a nest built of sticks, usually in a clump of mangrove. Sometimes the nest is built in a tree, bush or on the ground. The nest is built by the female. The male brings the materials.

Magnificent FrigatebirdIt takes about 50 days for the chick to hatch. Both the male and the female incubate the egg and both parents feed the chick. When the chick is young, one parent is always with it to protect it from the other frigatebirds. The male leaves when the chick is about 12 weeks old. The chick fledges when it is about five to six  months old. The female will continue to feed the chick for another four months.


Magnificent FrigatebirdThe magnificent frigatebird is an excellent flyer and glider. It can swoop and grab a booby chick from its nest. It often chases and snatches other prey while in the air.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Sandra Gallo-Corona cc logo