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Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

Related shows:

Bird in Flight, Strong but Light

The feathers of a bird are, for their weight, among the strongest structures in the world. The bones of this Magnificent Frigatebird weigh less than its feathers! To further reduce weight while maintaining strength, many bird bones are fused. In addition, the pectoral and pelvic girdles and ribs... read more »

Topics & Themes:  flight, science

Birds and Navigation

The argonauts of the western Pacific and Polynesia, when navigating the vast distances between tiny islands, observed with great care the migration of birds. Polynesian navigators often carried with them frigatebirds, which they released and followed to land. Risking their lives, ancient... read more »

Topics & Themes:  flight, migration

Finding Your Way Home

In her book Out of the Woods, Lynn Darling describes an account of way-finding through the thick fog of coastal Greenland. An Inuit hunting party was kayaking close enough to shore to hear breaking waves, but the land was lost in mist. Darling writes: “After hours of steady paddling, the leader... read more »

Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Sleeping on the Wing

Some swifts and frigatebirds stay aloft for months. But for a long time, scientists did not know if the birds might be sleeping on the wing. A 2016 study provided answers. Tiny devices attached to the heads of frigatebirds revealed fascinating information: the birds did sleep while aloft, most... read more »


Frigatebirds' Kleptoparasitism

In the warmer regions of the world’s oceans, large seabirds called boobies plunge headfirst into the water, snatching up fish. But as a booby flies up from the waves with a fish now in its gullet, there may be another big seabird — a frigatebird — with its eye on the booby’s fresh catch. Now... read more »