Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

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Adult male

An all dark, long-winged, fork-tailed bird of tropical oceans. Males have a bare patch of red skin on the throat (gular sac), barely visible outside the breeding season.

Adult female

Soars effortlessly on its long wings using its deeply forked tail to steer. Females have a dark head and white breast patch.

Immature male (Stage 4)

An all dark fork-tailed bird of tropical oceans. Soars effortlessly on its long wings, which have a pronounced bend. Males have a bare patch of red skin on the throat (gular sac), barely visible outside the breeding season.

Immature female (Stage 3)

Spends most of its time in the air, gliding for hours with little to no wing movements. Immature females have a white head and belly.

Immature (Stage 2)

Immatures have a white head and breast and tan stripe on the upper wings. When they do flap their wings, their wingbeats are deep and slow.

Juvenile (Stage 1)

Juveniles have a white head and belly.

Juvenile (Stage 1)

Juveniles have a white head and breast and tan stripe on the upper wings. Note long, hooked bill.

Flock

Flaps with deep wing beats when needed, otherwise soars effortlessly across tropical oceans. Note immatures and females with white heads and breasts.

Recommended Citation

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/magfri