Wildlife Wednesday: Magnificent Frigatebird
It was an exciting moment to see the Magnificent Frigatebirds in their habitat, North Seymour Island (Galapagos, Ecuador). Charles Darwin called the bird as ‘the Condor of the Oceans’. Its appearance is quite intimidating compared to other birds on the coastal area. Besides that, Frigatebird is one of the fastest flying birds in the world (153km/h). I also read that the bird can stay aloft for weeks at a time (source). It’s impressive!
The male has a red pouch that is inflated when about to attract a female Frigatebird during the mating season. The mating season in Galapagos is on March and April. Unfortunately, we visited Galapagos in December.
The female Frigatebird has a white breast and a brown band on the wings. The female is a bit bigger than the male frigate bird. I did not see the adult female bird during our visit, but luckily we saw the young ones on the island. As they grow older, their head will turn into a brown color.
The birds usually have one to two eggs to lay on, and they will take around 50 days to hatch. The couple takes the turn to feed the young birds until the age of three months. Then later it becomes to the mothers’ responsibility in feeding the youngsters.
The bird is not considered an endangered species. However, there are trends that its population is decreasing due to pollution in the coastal area such as marine plastic pollution. The birds’ feed on sealife such as tuna, shrimps and baby turtles; that of course, whatever polluted the ocean and its residents, would eventually affect the birds.