Frigatebird Facts

Frigatebird Facts
Frigatebird is a seabird that belongs to the frigatebirds family. There are 5 species of frigatebird that can be found on the coasts and islands in tropical and subtropical areas all over the world. Major threats for the survival of frigatebirds are overfishing, habitat destruction and introduction of new species. Christmas frigatebird and Ascension frigatebird are classified as endangered due to loss of breeding areas.
Interesting Frigatebird Facts:
Frigatebird can reach 30 to 45 inches in length and 35 to 67 ounces of weight. Females are larger than males.
Females are brownish to black-colored. They have white patches on the neck and breasts, brown markings on the wings and blue eye ring.
Males are covered with glossy black plumage. Aside from their plumage, males can be recognized by the large patch of bare skin on the throat, called gular sac. It is inflatable, bright red-colored and used to attract females during the mating season.
Frigatebird has very long, hooked bill, short neck, slender body, long, narrow wings, short legs with small feet and deeply forked tail.
Frigatebird has a wingspan of 7.5 feet. This is the largest wingspan of all birds compared to the body size. Frigatebird can spend entire week in the air (and even take a nap in the air) thanks to its huge wings and ability to use thermals to fly effortlessly.
Frigatebird is mostly active during the day. It roosts on the trees during the night.
Frigatebird mostly feeds on fish, mollusks, squids, crustaceans, jellyfish and turtles.
Frigatebird collects food from the surface of the water, because it doesn't have waterproof feathers and cannot take-off once it lands on the surface of the water. It also frequently steals food from other birds.
Frigatebird doesn't have natural enemies in the air, but rats, stoats and domestic cats represent great threat for eggs and chicks on the ground.
Mating season of frigatebirds takes place on dry islands and coasts from August to October.
Males inflate their throats, spread and vibrate their wings, move head back and forth, clap their bills and produce whistling calls to get attention of females.
Frigatebirds form monogamous couples that last only one season. Female lays one egg. Both parents take part in the incubation of egg during a period of 53 to 61 days.
Hatchling is naked and helpless at birth. Male provides food for the chick during the first 3 months of its life and then leaves his family. Female continues to feed chick during the next 8 months.
Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 8 to 9 years, and males at the age of 10 to 11 years. Due to prolonged parental care, females reproduce once every two years, while males mate every year.
Frigatebird can survive from 15 to more than 40 years in the wild.

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