The magnificent frigatebird is a large seabird native to America. Easily recognized by its striking red gular sac, this bird is quite a player when it comes to attracting mates! But, that’s not the only skill of our inflated friend. Known as the pirate bird or condor of the oceans, this frigatebird is an extremely good flier. Heck, it can even ride through a hurricane strong winds!

magnificent frigatebird

Where can we find the magnificent frigatebird?

Native to America, this bird is found between northern Mexico and Ecuador, Florida, and Brazil. Moreover, it occurs over tropical and subtropical waters. Naturally, due to its habitat, our friend can be seen along coasts, islands, and lagoons. Yet, when it comes to nesting, it will stay in mangroves, in low trees or bushes, and on coral reefs.

magnificent frigatebird

How does the magnificent frigatebird look?

At first sight, this bird looks very normal. But, when attracting mates, our friend will inflate its red gular sac, and look like it has swallowed a balloon! However, the female is slightly larger, with a white breast and belly. Having an impressive wingspan, this frigatebird can spread its wings up to 8 feet! Finally, did you know our friend wears the pride title of the largest frigatebird? That been said, an adult can grow up to 45 inches in length and weigh between 2,4 and 3,5 pounds.


Like its close relative, the pelican, the magnificent frigatebird feeds mainly on fish. Although, for a normal-looking bird, our friend has a quite interesting and various diet. Thus, it will also eat squid, jellyfish, and crustaceans. But, there’s more! Turtles, eggs, and even chicks of other sea birds are also included. Finally, our kleptoparasite will even force other birds to disgorge their meals.


Magnificent frigatebirds are serially monogamous, forming pairs each breeding season. Thus, when the season comes, males gather in groups to attract females. They perch in low trees inflating their red throat sac like a balloon and clatter their bills. Heck, they even wave their heads back and forth and fly around the females while calling loudly! Finally, after mating, our female will lay one egg which is incubated by both parents for 50 to 60 days. When born, the chick is naked and helpless, fed by both parents for the first few months. However, after 9 months, the chick is ready to explore the world by itself.

Did you know the magnificent frigatebird can’t land on the water? If its feathers get wet, our friend won’t be able to fly!

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