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Encyclopedia > Frigatebird
Frigatebirds

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Fregatidae
Degland & Gerbe, 1867
Genus: Fregata
Lacépède, 1799
Species

There are five species in the family Fregatidae, the frigatebirds. They are very closely related, and are all in the single genus Fregata. Frigatebirds attack other sea birds, hence the name. They are also sometimes called Man of War birds or Pirate birds. Since they are related to the pelicans, the term "frigate pelican" is also a name applied to them. Lesser Frigatebird public domain from NOAA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Families Fregatidae Pelecanidae Sulidae Phalacrocoracidae Anhingidae Phaethontidae For prehistoric families, see article text. ... Lacépède Bernard Germain Étienne de la Ville, Comte de Lacépède (December 26, 1756 – October 6, 1825) was a French naturalist. ... Binomial name Fregata magnificens Mathews, 1914 The Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) was sometimes previously known as Man OWar, reflecting its rakish lines, speed, and aerial piracy of other birds. ... Binomial name Fregata aquila (Linnaeus, 1758) The Ascension Frigatebird (Fregata aquila) breeds only on the tiny Boatswainbird Island near Ascension Island in the tropical Atlantic. ... Binomial name Fregata andrewsi Mathews, 1914 Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) is a frigatebird which breeds only on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. ... Binomial name Fregata minor (Gmelin, 1789) The Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), also known as the Iwa, is a migratory seabird in the frigatebird family. ... Binomial name Fregata ariel (Gray, 1845) The Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel is a species of frigatebird. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pelican (disambiguation). ...


Frigatebirds are large, with iridescent black feathers (the females have a white underbelly), with long wings (male wingspan can reach 2.3 metres) and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable red-coloured throat pouches called "gula pouches", which they inflate to attract females during the mating season.


Frigatebirds are found over tropical oceans and ride warm updrafts. Therefore, they can often be spotted riding weather fronts and can signal changing weather patterns.


These birds do not swim and cannot walk well, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week, landing only to roost or breed on trees or cliffs.


They lay one or two white eggs. Both parents take turns feeding for the first three months but then only the mother feeds the young for another eight months. It takes so long to rear a chick that frigatebirds cannot breed every year. It is typical to see juveniles as big as their parents waiting to be fed. When they sit waiting for endless hours in the hot sun, they assume an energy-efficient posture in which their head hangs down, and they sit so still that they seem dead. But when the parent returns, they will wake up, bob their head, and scream until the parent opens its mouth. The hungry juvenile plunges its head down the parent's throat and feeds at last.


As members of Pelecaniformes, frigatebirds have the key characteristics of all four toes being connected by the web, a gular sac (also called gular skin), and a furcula that is fused to the breastbone. Although there is definitely a web on the frigatebird foot, the webbing is reduced and part of each toe is free. Frigatebirds produce very little oil and therefore do not land in the ocean. The gular sac is used as part of a courtship display and is, perhaps, the most striking frigatebird feature. Families Fregatidae Pelecanidae Sulidae Phalacrocoracidae Anhingidae Phaethontidae For prehistoric families, see article text. ... In ornithology, gular skin refers to an area of featherless skin found in some species of bird, which joins the lower mandible of the bill to the birds neck. ... Bronze cast of a Tyrannosaurus furcula. ...

Frigatebirds obtain most of their food by snatching it from the ocean surface. In this case an immature Great Frigatebird is snatching a Sooty Tern chick dropped by another frigatebird
Frigatebirds obtain most of their food by snatching it from the ocean surface. In this case an immature Great Frigatebird is snatching a Sooty Tern chick dropped by another frigatebird
Nesting frigatebird in the Galapagos Islands

Distribution and identifying characteristics differ among frigatebird species, and thus are addressed in species-specific articles. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 462 pixelsFull resolution (2153 × 1243 pixel, file size: 813 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 462 pixelsFull resolution (2153 × 1243 pixel, file size: 813 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1766) Synonyms Sterna fuscata Linnaeus, 1766 The Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscata — formerly Sterna fuscata (Bridge , 2005) — is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. ... Image File history File links 6019_aquaimages. ... Image File history File links 6019_aquaimages. ... NASA Satellite photo of the Galápagos archipelago. ...

Contents

Feeding

Frigatebirds' feeding habits are pelagic. Lacking the ability to take off from water, they snatch prey from the ocean surface or beach using their long, hooked bills. They catch fish, baby turtles and similar items in this way. Frigatebirds often rob other seabirds such boobies, tropicbirds, and shearwaters of their catch, using their speed and manoeuvrability to outrun and harass their victims until they regurgitate their stomach contents. The pelagic zone is the part of the open sea or ocean comprising the water column, i. ... The Sooty Tern is highly aerial and marine and will spend years flying at sea without returning to land. ... Species Sula nebouxii Sula variegata Sula dactylatra Sula granti Sula sula Sula leucogaster For fossil species, see text The boobies are part of the family Sulidae, a group of seabirds closely related to gannets. ... Species The three tropicbirds are closely related seabirds of tropical oceans. ... Genera Procellaria Calonectris Puffinus †See also fulmar, prion, petrel Shearwaters are medium-sized long-winged seabirds. ...


Species

Binomial name Fregata magnificens Mathews, 1914 The Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) was sometimes previously known as Man OWar, reflecting its rakish lines, speed, and aerial piracy of other birds. ... Binomial name Fregata aquila (Linnaeus, 1758) The Ascension Frigatebird (Fregata aquila) breeds only on the tiny Boatswainbird Island near Ascension Island in the tropical Atlantic. ... Binomial name Fregata andrewsi Mathews, 1914 Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) is a frigatebird which breeds only on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. ... Binomial name Fregata minor (Gmelin, 1789) The Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), also known as the Iwa, is a migratory seabird in the frigatebird family. ... Binomial name Fregata ariel (Gray, 1845) The Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel is a species of frigatebird. ...

See also

  • Limnofregata

Species Limnofregata azygosternon (type) Limnofregata hasegawai Limnofregata (Freshwater frigatebird) is an extinct genus of primitive frigatebird. ...

References

  • Harrison, Seabirds ISBN 0-7470-8028-8

External links

  • Frigatebird videos on the Internet Bird Collection


  Results from FactBites:
 
First ever magnificent frigatebird settles in Museum - Natural History Museum (556 words)
Frigatebirds, also known as Man-o-War birds, are strictly pelagic, inhabiting tropical seas, and they are unable to swim or even walk on land.
Frigatebirds are some of the most exciting birds to see alive.
The Museum specimen, an adult male magnificent frigatebird, was identified by its glossy all-dark plumage and by measurements, clearly separating it from the very similar ascension frigatebird Fregata aquila.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Frigatebird (534 words)
Frigatebirds are large, with iridescent fl feathers (the females have a white underbelly), with long wings (male wingspan can reach 2.3 metres) and deeply-forked tails.
As members of Pelecaniformes, frigatebirds have the key characteristics of all four toes being connected by the web, a gular sac (also called gular skin), and a furcula that is fused to the breastbone.
Frigatebirds often rob other seabirds such boobies, tropicbirds, and shearwaters of their catch, using their speed and manoeuvrability to outrun and harass their victims until they regurgitate their stomach contents.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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