Fregata real de Galápagos
15 - 25 years
2.15 metres wingspan
2.4 metres wingspan
The magnificent frigatebird has several nicknames. Charles Darwin called them ‘the condor of the oceans’ because they can spend days and nights at a time on the wing and have an exceptionally large wingspan; the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird in the world. This body shape gives them exceptional aerial manoeuvrability and allows them to glide on thermals for days at a time. The Spanish would call them ‘pirate birds’ and ‘Man-o’-Wars’ due to their habit of stealing food from other birds.
The male is all black with a purplish sheen on upper body feathers and a large red gular (throat pouch) which is inflated during the breeding season. The female is slightly larger and has a white breast and shoulder, as well as a blue eye-ring. The species is found across the tropics and it is estimated that the population in Galapagos could be several thousand pairs.
Magnificent frigatebirds in Galapagos
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