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Great Frigatebird

About Great Frigatebird

Large seabird with long, narrow wings, forked tail, and long, hooked bill. Male is black with green sheen, light brown wingbar, scarlet throat and feet. Female is mainly dark brown and is larger than the male.

They breed in trees and bushes on island colonies usually with other seabirds, every other year. They have a single white egg in a twig nest incubated by both parents for 40-50 days.

It cannot swim and can only get back in the air with difficulty if it lands on the water. This bird spends most of its life away from land flying over the ocean. It has a wingspan of over 6 feet (1.8m) but it weighs very little; which enables it to ride the ocean winds with hardly a wingbeat, staying in the air for hours before returning to land at night to roost. It feeds mainly on fish and squid swimming at the surface, and follows schools of tuna or dolphins so it can take fish that they scare to the surface. Because of its long bill, it can snatch its prey without getting its feathers wet, which is great for a bird that does not have waterproof feathers. It favors flying-fish which it can catch in the air.

The frigatebird gets a lot of its food by piracy in the breeding colonies. It chases the other seabirds when they return with their crops full of fish.