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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Magnificent Frigatebird

Fregata magnificens ORDER: SULIFORMES FAMILY: FREGATIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A long-winged, fork-tailed bird of tropical oceans, the Magnificent Frigatebird is an agile flier that snatches food off the surface of the ocean and steals food from other birds. It breeds mostly south of the United States, but wanders northward along the coasts during nonbreeding season.

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Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large, dark water bird.
  • Long, pointed wings with pronounced bend in middle.
  • Long, forked tail.
  • Short neck.
  • Long, hooked bill.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult female, but head entirely white, blending with white chest. Legs, feet, and bill light bluish gray.

Range Map Help

Magnificent Frigatebird Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Male

    Magnificent Frigatebird

    Male
    • © Thomas C. Geibel / CLO
  • Female

    Magnificent Frigatebird

    Female
    • © James McCullough / CLO
  • Immature

    Magnificent Frigatebird

    Immature
    • © 2004 Kevin J. McGowan, Dry Tortugas, Florida, April 2000

Similar Species

  • Swallow-tailed Kite has long wings and forked tail, but has white wing linings, is much smaller, and is found inland, not over the ocean.