The Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) or man o’ war is a seabird of the frigatebird family Fregatidae. With a length of 89–114 centimetres (35–45 in) and wingspan of 2.17–2.44 m (7.1–8.0 ft) it is the largest species of frigatebird. It occurs over tropical and subtropical waters off America, between northern Mexico and Perú on the Pacific coast and between Florida and southern Brazil along the Atlantic coast. There are also populations on the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific and the Cape Verde islands in the Atlantic.
The magnificent frigatebird is a large, lightly built seabird with brownish-black plumage, long narrow wings and a deeply forked tail. The male has a striking red gular sac which he inflates to attract a mate. The female is slightly larger than the male and has a white breast and belly. Frigatebirds feed on fish taken in flight from the ocean’s surface (often flying fish), and sometimes indulge in kleptoparasitism, harassing other birds to force them to regurgitate their food.
The Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a member of the cormorant family of water birds. Its habitat is near rivers and lakes as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70–90 cm (28–35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin. Five subspecies are recognized. It mainly eats fish and hunts by swimming and diving. Its feathers, like those of all cormorants, are not waterproof and it must spend time drying them out after spending time in the water. Once threatened by the use of DDT, the numbers of this bird have increased markedly in recent years.
Great flight shots, HJ! I saw a Magnificent Frigatebird in flight the other day during a day-trip down the Keys & back (pic not great, shot through car windshield); but it was exciting, my only second time in seeing them ever. I love the Cormorants too, they have gorgeous eyes and are fun to try to photograph when they pop up out of the water with a fish!
The frigatebirds fly high and with the wingspan of over 8ft they use the thermal wind currents very well. I named them the pterodactyls of our times.
Thank you very much, Donna. 🙂
They are fascinating birds to watch in flight HJ. Thanks for your interesting post. We only see them when visiting islands around Australia.
I always have a little time for the flying groups of birds. Thank you, Ashley. 🙂