Bird Life

Frigate Bird in Flight

Frigate Bird in Flight

Frigate Bird, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Frigate Bird

Frigate Bird, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Frigate Bird

Frigate birds come and go on the island of Eleuthera using the air currents to stay aloft for long periods of time. I remember when we first came here and there were 4 or 5 of them flying around. They looked like some prehistoric bird with their long wings and forked tails soaring on the air currents. I asked a local person what they were and his response was – Well we call them Weather Birds because they come and go with the air currents that bring the weather. Now that made perfect sense but I knew that wasn’t their technical name so I researched and found out that they were in reality called- Frigate Birds.

“Frigatebirds[edit] Order: Suliformes Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.

Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens”- Wikipedia

NAMING THE FRIGATEBIRD: A POTTED HISTORY

Columbus encountered them on his first voyage in 1492, but knew them by their Spanish name rabiforçado or ‘fork-tail’.
The use of the name ‘frigatebird’ was first recorded in 1667 and referenced the frigate warship, a powerful sea-vessel
‘Man-o-War Bird’ was the name given to the bird by English mariners in the Caribbean, being the colloquial name given by sailors to a frigate.

ARE FRIGATEBIRDS ANY USE TO MAN OR BEAST?

Yes, emphatically so, to man anyway. Mariners through the ages have used frigatebirds as indicators of nearby land – not necessarily visible, but within sailing distance. And fishermen through the ditto have used them as reliable indicators of where fish are to be found.- Rolling Harbour. Com